Trans Air Force Staff Sergeant Logan Ireland is defending his country despite Trump’s ban.
“My wife and I, we served honorably. We’ll continue to do so, up until the day that we get told to no longer put on the uniform,” he stated.
Staff Sergeant Ireland’s wife is also transgender and military veteran. Roughly 10,000 to 15,000 trans Americans now serve in the U.S. military and 134,000 more are veterans like Tavion Dignard.
“I served during 1998-2002. I was station in Naval station San Diego on the destroyer USS Oldendorf,” he stated. “Identified differently then, before coming out as my authentic self, as a transgender man.”
Trans individuals have only been allowed to serve openly since 2016. But one study found that 20% of trans Americans have served in the military and that they’re twice as likely to serve as cisgender Americans.
“[Trump’s ban] impacts all trans service members, veteran and currently serving,” Ireland stated. “We want to do our service justice, and we have done it for so many years. So to be silenced is almost like taking a step back.”
Fortunately, several legislators have joined the fight to overturn Trump’s ban.
“Let me stand up, be the person I need when I was younger, and just come out. Just be my authentic self,” Dignard stated. “We’ve been here. Transgender, it’s not a new term.”