Gender doesn’t define loyalty, Donald
We are somewhat ahead of Trump in SA. We say to him: live and let live.
Not that long ago, homosexuality was outlawed in the US military. Gays or lesbians could be court-martialled and jailed … and many served their time in uniform in the closet.
And, until recently, women were prohibited from taking up many roles in the forces.
So, perhaps it is not surprising that the most conservative and quixotic American president in recent history, Donald Trump, would this week ban transgender people from serving in the country’s armed forces.
Trump’s reasoning was that there would be “tremendous medical costs and disruption” if transgender people were allowed in the military.
That ignores the reality that there are estimated to be between 2 500 and 7 000 transgender people among the current 1.3 million active service members.
And, apparently, they have been serving their country well up to now. The world is a changing place and transgender people are a reality.
They are not freaks, they are just different from the rest of us. In South Africa, our constitution enjoins us to respect differences and encourages tolerance.
In that respect, we are ahead of Trump. We say to him: live and let live.
A person’s loyalty and patriotism, not their physical shape, are what should count in the forces.