Transgender Airman: "I Would Like To See Them Try To Kick Me Out Of My Military"

The world was shocked on Wednesday morning when President Trump sent out three tweets effectively banning all transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. There have been plenty of reactions since then, but perhaps the most powerful are those from transgender people currently serving.
“I would like to see them try to kick me out of my military,” Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland said in an interview with Air Force Times. “You are not going to deny me my right to serve my country when I am fully qualified and able and willing to give my life.”
Advertisement
Ireland and his wife, Laila Ireland, are both transgender and both served in the military. They have dedicated themselves to fighting for the right for transgender people to serve openly. The Irelands have both been part of an upcoming documentary showing the experience of transgender people in the military and had previously met with President Obama. Logan Ireland has been public about his transition since 2015 and had even been working with the Air Force on policies for transgender airmen, he told Air Force Times.
While many may feel that all of that work is now for naught, Ireland says he will do down fighting and even offered to meet with President Trump about the more than 15,000 trans people currently serving in the military.
“For the president to deny an able-bodied, fully qualified person the inherent right to raise their right hand and serve their country, potentially giving their own life for our freedoms, is doing this country an injustice,” Ireland said.
Many of us remember the day in 2011 when President Obama finally struck down Don't Ask Don't Tell, which banned all LGBTQ people from being open about their sexuality or gender identity while they served in the military. But many probably aren't aware that the repeal didn't change anything for transgender people — those who have non-binary gender identities were still not allowed to be open about that, until a 2016 Department of Defense repeal allowed transgender people who were already in the military (like Ireland) to come out about their gender identity. But out trans people were still not allowed to enlist in the military, even before President Trump made that very clear Wednesday morning.
Advertisement
What's infuriating about Trump's tweets is that the U.S. was incredibly to finally lifting the military ban for trans people. Thanks to President Obama, transgender people were supposed to be able to start enlisting on July 1.
Now, Trump wants to keep all transgender people out of the military, including people like Ireland who are already serving — but they're not going to go quietly.
"We have pilots, we have doctors, we have combat medics, we have security forces members like myself," Ireland told Air Force Times. "We are everywhere in the military, and for our president to not have a military member’s back that is willing to die for him blows my mind. And it just makes me very motivated today to continue my training."
Read these stories next:
Advertisement