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Transgender Navy SEAL Blasts Trump: “Let’s Meet Face to Face.”

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By now, you’ve probably seen the terrible transphobic tweets Donald Trump blasted out this morning–announcing a ban on trans folks serving openly in the military. Naturally, this bigoted anouncement has caused an uproar, especially from many in the LGBTQ community.

In case you need a refresher:

Many transgender people have spoken out against his words. For instance, transgender retired Navy SEAL Team 6, Kristin Beck, had a lot to say, telling Business Insider:

“Let’s meet face to face and you tell me I’m not worthy. Transgender doesn’t matter. Do your service.

Being transgender doesn’t affect anyone else. We are liberty’s light. If you can’t defend that for everyone that’s an American citizen, that’s not right.

I was defending individual liberty. I defended for Republicans. I defended for Democrats. I defended for everyone.”

Beck went onto to point out how there are “between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender people serving” in the military in 2016–and she knows a lot considering she served for 20 years, deployed 13 times over two decades, received the Bronze Star award for valor and the Purple Heart for wounds suffered in combat. The money that trans people cost (like medical bills), Beck said is “.000001% of the military budget.”

But Beck isn’t the only one to speak out. Chelsea Manning also took to Twitter, essentially calling Trump a coward:

“So, biggest baddest most $$ military on earth cries about a few trans people but funds the F-35? Sounds like cowardice.”

Manning is also a transgender former soldier; she was released from prison in May after serving seven years for disclosing secret military secrets via WikiLeaks.

Laverne Cox, an outspoken transgender actress and activist who stars on “Orange Is the New Black,” said:

“I have met many transgender Americans over the years who have served or are currently serving our country in the military. I have heard from them humiliating stories of being misgendered and experiencing various kinds of mistreatment when they are willing to put their lives on the line in ways many of us would never do including our current President. This latest reversal of another Obama administration policy continues to send the message to trans Americans that our lives, our safety and service are less valuable and unwanted in this country, the country I love and hold so dear.

Let’s all come together and send the message to trans Americans. Despite what this president and administration proclaims that trans lives, safety and service are valuable, that they matter.”

Others on Twitter reacted as well (all accounts we recommend following):

So, what can we do? We can call our legislators and senators (or use Resist Bot to help you write a message or text), hold protests, and support each other, especially our transgender and non-binary friends. We need to be allies for each other.

Alaina Leary, LGBTQ-identified activist and editor who has disabilities, talked to me about how we can better support transgender people:

“1. Have my name respected + not be dead named, politely (or, y’know, not politely if it warrants it) correct other people who use wrong pronouns for me or any other trans/NB person.

2. Have people treat trans stories and creators with respect ALL the time and not just when there’s news (for example, lots of my friends are being flooded with assignments from editors, but are more largely ignored when there isn’t upheaval like this).

3. Don’t demand to know a trans person’s backstory, don’t ask about legal/social/medical transition details if they aren’t offered to you, don’t demand to know the person’s “old name” or birth name (it’s super dismissive and really messed up to act like this is important info).

4. Support politicians who support trans rights, support trans authors/artists/creators/dancers/etc.”

What Leary says is helpful advice for us all, especially in times like this. If you need a good laugh (and an example of someone who isn’t a supporter but thinks they are), take a look at this tweet:

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