Standing Up To Trump On the Trans Military Ban
What message is exclusionary governmental policy toward trans people sending to LGBTQI youth?
Landon J. Allen
Three tweets by Donald Trump told the world that transgender soldiers are a burden and that transgender Americans are unwelcome to serve the country in which they were born and live.
Being a member of the armed forces is one of the most unselfish actions someone can take—putting oneself into harm’s way in some of the most dangerous locations in the world, residing in harsh heat and with minimal amenities so that you can protect the rights and freedoms of Americans you most likely will never meet.
I am not, nor have I ever been, in the military—although it does not seem hard to comprehend the sacrifices that our soldiers make so I can enjoy the freedom of being a transgender man.
My worry is the negative message that trans military exclusion sends to our transgender youth. Are we telling them they are not worthy of their own country? Are we reinforcing the views of family members that many of them suffer through and survive? Are they going to feel that even though they are willing to give their life for strangers’ rights, they are not human enough to have those same rights?
Living through the struggles I have had in my own life—homelessness because I did not have family to call when I fell on hard times, and surviving alcohol addiction to bury my feelings of abuse and abandonment—all of this ultimately led to me attempting to take my life.
I know how it feels to feel unwanted. I know how it feels to be considered unworthy. To be discarded by immediate family. My father’s last words to me years ago were, “I hate who you are, leave me alone.” Are these the words we are saying to our trans soldiers? That their country hates who they are and has no problem forcing them to lose their jobs, their homes, their insurance, and their ability to provide for themselves and their families? How is this message going to resonate in the minds of our trans youth?
The need for us as adults to practice and push for diversity and inclusion is beyond crucial. We must stand up and stand out if we have any hope for our youth to have a chance at full and limitless equality. Children are taking their lives at an alarming rate due to the lack of acceptance of diversity in our school systems. It is time that we push for diversity training in our schools and workplaces. When we hear someone make a negative comment about a member of any minority, we must speak up. Allowing the hate to happen in your presence makes you just as guilty as the one spewing it.
I plead with you to pledge to be someone who does not tolerate discrimination in any form; to be an advocate for diversity. As adults and allies it is our job to make sure that our children know that they have worth no matter what their sexuality or gender identity is.
We need to send the message to our youth that we will stand beside and stand up for them—until there is a day that they have the right to be just kids and to grow up to be their true selves, and to do so without the worry that they will be treated unequally. That when they are little and we tell them that they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up, that it is true—even if they want to be a soldier.
About the author:Landon J. Allen is a transgender motivational and public speaker residing in Nashville, TN. After achieving many years of success in the LGBTQ entertainment industry as entertainer Jordan Allen, professional host and emcee, Landon decided to pursue his passion of motivational and public speaking. Whether it be speaking to corporate companies and their leaders on work place diversity and inclusion, to LGBTQ youth, high schools or visiting LGBTQ youth in hospitals. Landon has put his life experience and unfortunate trials to good use by helping others in their transitions to their true selves. Allen is currently booking speaking engagements while working on his motivational memoir, “This Is A True Story”. He hopes to allow his readers and audience a closer encounter of the truly challenging yet inspiring tales of his transition story and of "her" and his life thus far.
Visit Landon online at https://www.landonjallen.life
Follow Landon on Instagram @landonjallen