Let’s just hope Trump stays off Twitter that night.
In light of Trump’s recent, bizarre attack on the transgender military community, its members need unwavering support now more than ever. According to CNN, MTV is attempting to show that support by bringing active transgender service members to the MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday night.
Lt. Col. Paul Haverstick, a spokesperson for the Pentagon, communicated to CNN on Wednesday that MTV sent a formal request asking trans members to participate in the awards ceremony and the Department of Defense would review “the parameters of the request.” As you can probably imagine, it’s no easy task to fly out active duty service members for a star-studded evening. For trans members or otherwise, military personnel abide by strict rules when it comes to appearing at major events — especially if they’re politically charged.
And if you’ve ever watched the VMAs, you know they’re anything but neutral. Lady Gaga injected the event with a little social activism in 2010 when she arrived with five LGBTQ service members to shine a critical spotlight on the military’s “ Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Of course, last year’s VMAs might have been the most politically charged because it aired at the height of the 2016 presidential election season. For instance, you might recall Lance Bass’s “Love Trumps Hate” jacket or Beyoncé’s brilliant salute to Black Lives Matter.
Despite Trump’s bombastic tweets, the Pentagon asserts that they do not translate into official policy changes. Though there’s a chance Trump’s absurd tweet could transition into actual policy if his administration gets its way. According to the Wall Street Journal, we can expect the White House to propose a new policy in the coming months preventing transgender people from entering the military.
Five active duty trans military members are currently filing a lawsuit against Trump for his threat to reverse Obama’s elimination of the transgender military ban. Regardless, there’s absolutely no economic benefit to excluding trans members from the military, especially when you consider the trillions of dollars the U.S. military spends (and, arguably, wastes) each year. Perhaps this isn’t common knowledge to our president, but it is to us: Transgender people have the same ability as anyone else to serve this country and deserve the right to do so.