Transgender Ban – Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Serve

Vintage Ad John Hancock 1955 Illustration inductees army

The worn out battle over who can serve in our military has resumed once again.

Transgender Americans are now banned from serving openly in the military and protecting our nation. .

This debate over who can be a legitimate soldier is a recurring feature of the history of inclusion and exclusion in the military and I’m beginning to get pretty battle fatigued.


Our histories tell us armies Make Men, even as now our definition of male is being re-evaluated. Vintage Army recruitment ad

Our military is no place for discrimination yet Trump has made it a battlefield once again with his wish to overturn President  Obama’s 20111 repeal of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy finally ending 17 years of secrecy and silence for LGBTQ members of the U.S. Military.

In the summer of 2017, nearly 70 years to the day in 1948 that President Truman signed an order abolishing racial discrimination in U.S. Armed Forces that  eventually led to the end of segregation in the military, Donald  Trump tweeted his desire to ban transgender people from serving in our military. Now the Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration ’s ban to go into effect while appeals are heard in a lower court.

Is this hate driven policy yet another  step backward  in his quest to Make  America Great Again?

An American patriot willing to sacrifice their liberty so we can have ours is a hero, whatever their race, sexual orientation, gender or religion.

It’s common defense sense that the only qualities that matter in the military are skills, determination and character. This is a reminder that this White House puts bigotry before national security.

Freedom For All

Vintage ad showing enlisted men in the army

Seven years after Truman issued his executive order 9981 forever banning racial discrimination our military, this 1955 ad from John Hancock Insurance  featuring inductees proudly taking their oath into the military, declared:

“Freedom is the most precious of our possessions.

But we do not all share  its cost equally. The heaviest tax it imposes is the obligation to bear arms in times of danger. There are hundreds of thousands who have paid this cost with their lives. There are millions of others who pay it in precious years…men who give up their personal liberty for a while so we can enjoy ours forever.”

vintage illustration Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Transgender men and women have always served in the US military.

They are our veterans and our heroes. They have died for our country.

Like any soldier  they are deserving of honor and respect. For whoever they may be, I feel sure they must have believed, as do I, in the equality of men, the duty of men to live justly with each other and with themselves.

They have chosen to give up their personal liberty for a while so we can enjoy ours forever!

Allow patriotic transgender Americans  the privilege to serve.



© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


One comment

  1. The reality is people of all sexual orientations HAVE served and DO serve, whether there is an official policy allowing it. Anyone who has served – I did, in the early 1970s – knew people in their unit who were closeted gays (sometimes outright gays) who did their job, didn’t somehow ruin the discipline of the unit by being something other than heterosexual, and who didn’t “bother” people who weren’t gay (or whatever). I find the whole debate against people serving who aren’t heterosexual ridiculous. If a person can do the job of soldiering, plays by the rules, and is willing to risk life and limb in service to the country, I say let them sign up.


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