President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender troops serving in the military came one step closer to realization on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court put a hold on some lower courts’ injunctions on the ban. It is likely that the one injunction that was not part of the Supreme Court case will shortly be put on hold as well, allowing the Trump administration to enforce its ban. In defending his stance, President Trump has argued that the cost of medical care for transgender service members is too high, though research suggests the monetary cost is actually relatively small.
Trump’s ban represents a reversal of a 2016 Obama administration decision that formally permitted transgender citizens to serve in the military. To discuss we’re joined by Yasmin Nair, a Chicago-based academic, activist and freelance writer. In a piece for Current Affairs co-authored with Eli Massey, Nair argued that since the United States military is “a violent, hierarchical institution,” transgender Americans should not be seeking the right of inclusion therein. Indeed, she asserts, “symbolic inclusion” of transgender troops would distract from other, more pressing trans rights issues, as well as from the military’s systemic flaws. Nair is also a co-founder of Against Equality and a member of Gender JUST.