Agree to Disagree on Transgenders in the USA Military

It is easy for me to say hey let us all be friends and move on to another topic. Though, anyone with a social media account can see this is a very heated argument. Some of the things I have seen are shocking. I have even engaged in a couple debates here and there. My biggest concern is the willingness to make up information during these battles. Has the political divide become more about winning and less about a conversation?

I for one am not infallible. I can have the wrong facts and be misguided like the rest of us. Though, the internet provides methods of fact checking for me to easily see the errors of my ways.

When it comes to this specific topic it more so feels like we are fighting against our hatred of an individual rather than looking at the facts. Is that not the point? Or have we gone so far past that point that anything Donald Trump says is instantly hated?

I ask because mental illness has been talked about before in our society (United States of America). We had a huge debate over mental illness when a PTSD military person fired shots and killed innocent lives. We had this discussion again when a civilian killed a marine. And, now we have it regarding the transgender community. I’m curious as to why this is seen as so different. Although, a diagnosis of PTSD is listed inside the American Psychology Journal, just as gender dysphoria. Yet, we fight to keep a person who is mentally ill in our military as active duty. I question this because statistics show veterans are 21% higher to commit suicide than civilians or estimated 22 vets per day. Now, inside the transgender community that rate: Suicide attempts among trans men (46%) and trans women (42%) were slightly higher than the full sample (41%). Cross-dressers assigned male at birth have the lowest reported prevalence of suicide attempts among gender identity groups (21%) [See below 1 for where this information was taken from]. This being said inside the military transgender individual rates of suicide increase to 3 times more likely, according to a study (see 2 below for information).

On this basis alone, why are we pushing to make this okay for these individuals to be inside our military? It is shocking to me that we seem to look past this because these people walk and talk like “normal” people. Yet, the numbers are showing these individuals are heavily burdened and suffering from mental illness. A person who is sick, should not be allowed to serve in the military. Nor should they be allowed to purchase or own a firearm. Here we say take the guns away from the mentally insane because they shoot up our schools, children, and public places (to name a few). Yet, we are fighting for mentally ill (according to the current psychology journals) to stay and be allowed into our military. I am completely confused by this.

I understand in a perfect world we all should be allowed to do whatever we want. But, when it comes to national defense, I believe mental illness is a line I draw across the board; not just on this topic. I believe we need more rules limiting those with TRUE mental illness from being in positions where they have access to firearms. All we need now is a transgender to go on a murder suicide and have been inside the military to launch a civil war between the political parties. That in which I am not interested in doing with this article. I promote happiness. And, sometimes I have random times where I have an opinion that is based on politics. I share them not to be public enemy number one. I share because I am curious to see how other people come to have their opinions on the same subject. Though, I still maintain that we should all be respectful. And, at the end of the day, that is my main objective – while I still do care to know why this is such a huge topic.

1. Haas,Ph.D., Ann P. and Rodgers, Ph.D, Philip L., Herman, Ph.D. Jody L. (2014). The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Report. Suicide Attempts among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adults FINDINGS OF THE NATIONAL TRANSGENDER DISCRIMINATION SURVEY. Page 2.

2. Brown G. Transsexuals in the military: flight to hypermasculinity. Arch Sex Behav. 1988;17(6):527–537.

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