KGUN 9News


Transgender vet reacts to Trump tweet

Posted at 8:05 PM, Jul 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-26 23:05:25-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - President Trump declared Wednesday that transgender people have no place in the military.

In a series of tweets Wednesday morning he said the Pentagon should not cover the cost of transition treatments.

The tweets drew fire from a wide variety of people including Arizona Senator John McCain who said, "There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military-regardless of their gender identity."

Kristyn Weed is a military veteran--  forced to hide her true self until she got out of the Army.

"I was hard core.  I spent my career as a paratrooper.  I joined the military to get the girl out of me.  I knew I was a girl at four years old."

Kristyn Weed transitioned many years after an injury forced her out of the Army.  She says the modern military is much more accepting but when she served, if anyone knew she wanted to be a woman her Army career would have ended in an instant.

Weed says "If any member of the LGBT community was recognized they were immediately dishonorably discharged and once they're discharged they have no benefits whatsoever through the VA; so they're just left out to hang for being who they are."

Weed questions the argument that transgender surgery and treatment are terribly expensive.  She says she paid about 13 thousand dollars and hormone treatment is reasonably priced. 

Attorney Abby Jensen of the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance says in the civilian world, civil rights law helps protect transgendered rights; but people who join the military agree to live by the military's rules. 

"The military has much more leeway in what they want to do and the rights to sue the military for things like discrimination are limited.”

Jensen says the Pentagon decided letting transgender people serve openly is better for military readiness than forcing them into hiding and if that policy changes people could be forced out of the service and stripped of their VA benefits.