Calgary’s diverse community protests Trump’s military transgender ban
Through her own personal pain, Amelia Newbert was compelled to express her disappointment over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from the military.
On Thursday, she went to Calgary’s Central Memorial Park, the place where war monuments sit.
To Newbert, it seemed like a fitting space to silently express solidarity for soldiers of all genders.
“I tried to put on a brave face for most of the day and was just overwhelmed,” she said. “I needed to have a space for that pain and grief to be alright.”
Those in the LGBTQ community who advocate for transgender rights are worried about the damage that’s already been done by the leader south of the border.
“This garbage is going to kill somebody.
“I’m sure it has killed somebody and that’s one of the reasons it’s so painful,” Newbert said. “When we get these waves of external hate, people are going to hurt themselves and are going to kill themselves and that’s heartbreaking to me.”
Trump’s reinstatement of the ban cites concern over the burdens of medical costs and disruption. However, that’s something Canadian military experts say research refutes.
Alan Okros works as a military diversity expert at the Canadian Forces College.
“It really is an argument that doesn’t hold up,” Okros said. “Research was done and this is a fairly reasonable amount of money. There’s not been a major issue at Canadian military. Those who transition can do so with hormone therapy. If they do surgical procedures, it’s a one-time procedure and after that, there is no long-term medical follow-up.”
The Canadian Forces lifted its own ban back in 1992 and further to that, is working on improving its transgender policies this fall.
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