Two days ago Trump announced that after consulting with his generals and military experts the United States Government will not allow transgenders to serve in any branch of the military (Trump, 2017). The announcement came as a blow to the LBGT+ community, but also as a victory to conservatives. On a much larger scale there are those that feel this was a push forward in the right direction for those with mental illnesses in regards to Gender Dysphoria.
American Psychiatric Association defines Gender Dysphoria as “a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify”(Parekh, 2016). What this means is that someone who suffers from Gender Dysphoria does not feel like they are the sex the father created them as, and can often describe the feeling as “being uncomfortable with their bodies”, or not feeling like the role they were born to fulfill is the correct one (Parekh, 2016).
A man with Gender Dysphoria feels uncomfortable with their masculinity due to the fact psychologically they feel like a women, and therefore should be a women. Women who suffer with Gender Dysphoria will feel the same way as though they should be a man, because they do not feel like women, they feel like men. In their hearts and minds, someone with Gender Dysphoria, truly feels like the opposite sex and these feelings usually do not begin until around puberty (Parekh, 2016).
Gender Dysphoria is a personality disorder, and people afflicted with personality disorders have been banned from joining the military many times, under many presidents including President Obama. Gender Dysphoria does not truly fall under the blanket of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” because people who have Gender Dysphoria are not gay (Parekh, 2016). If you are not gay you are not protected at all by “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
The claims that the cost of Transgender medications and treatments being a burden purposes to be a mess on both sides and there are many red herrings and appeals to authorities used in their arguments. We are bombarded by supporters of Transgenders in the military using examples of the cost of Viagra and needed equipment as a means to support why the U.S. Government should feel compelled to pay for transitioning. But if we are going to use the $41 million dollars it costs the Federal Government each year in Viagra as a means to validate the U.S. Government paying for transition medication then we need the facts as to why the U.S. Government is paying cumulatively the $84 million a year to resolve ED (Erectile Dysfunction) (www.militarytimes.com, 2015).
The United States Government pays the $84 million to help treat ED due to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). About 30 out of 100 Vietnam Veterans suffer from PTSD; 12 out of 100 Gulf War Veterans; and between Operations Iraqi Freedom and Operations Enduring Freedom 11-20 of 100 Veterans suffer from PTSD (Gadus, 2017). Viagra is given to Straight and Gay veterans to treat PTSD induced ED.
Although I have always questioned the outlandish spending of our military; and within that spending 2 million veterans go without proper health care, I don’t want to get into the cost of equipment and transition medication. Equipment and Transition Medication/Treatment and Surgerie are two very different topics. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. You can only get so far.
I do believe that veterans fought for better treatment than they have been given. Most would agree that if the Federal Government can not afford swift treatment for veterans with cancer, shorter wait times to get a doctor appointment at a V.A. Clinic, and prosthetic limbs for those who lost their limbs in war, then why cover transition medications and surgeries? Health care should never cover a life choice, but should cover a soldiers mental health treatment. The bonuses and pay you acquire as an active member, or retiree pay, should cover your life style choices.
It is still unclear the number of people who suffer from Gender Dysphoria in the military. If you look at a RAND study in 2014 it is projected that there are 1,320 to 6,630 men and women in the military who have Gender Dysphoria (RAND, 2016). Personally, that is a very far stretch from having actual figures for a projected lifetime medical budget when there is a 5,000 person to person range. You cannot count this broad of information as a fact, you can conclude that this information is a mere assumption. We can not run accurate or even estimated numbers of the cost if you do not know the actual or closely estimated numbers. Again, 5,000 is too broad to begin to round to the nearest number to guess.
From a Christian stand point what can we do? Well, that is pretty simple. We continue to love as Jesus commanded (John 13:34). As Christians we should respect and love everyone, especially if they are willing to fight for our country. Also, If the United States Military feels that our military branches would be more effective without having deal with this countries on going saga of social issues and experiments then we should back up our military (Romans 13) and continue to pray for our leaders (1 Timothy: 2).
It is not our place to belittle or dance in victory. It is our place to love everyone with Gender Dysphoria. It is vital we pray for those with Gender Dysphoria, encourage them to seek help through counseling and come to church, so that they get connected to a healthy environment. We need to show them that they can beat this, and teach them that God knew them before they were a thought to their mother (Jeremiah 1:5); he has great plans for them in their lives (Jeremiah 29:11); and not only was Satan out to destroy this person and God’s plans for him or her, but God came to restore and give life (John 10:10).
Father God, I know that there are a lot of people hurting and confused. They feel isolated, beaten, and betrayed. One hand you have a group that is angry and out to tare down anyone who disagrees. On the other hand you have another group dancing in victory and rubbing it in, they too tare down anyone who disagrees. I want to ask Lord to intervene. Humble both crowds with your grace and mercy Lord so that those afflicted with Gender Dysphoria can receive the help they need. We know that statistically Lord 40% of people with Gender Dysphoria commit suicide so I want to ask you to step in and insert a loving follower of Christ into each and everyone of their lives Lord so that we can work on getting these numbers down with your love, mercy, and grace. Lord I want to thank you for everything you have done for me in my life. You have rescued me from a lifetime of abuse, poverty, and addiction. You restored my family Lord and gave me a reason to live again. Thank you for patiently loving me and sitting with me every time I hurt myself. Lord I just want to ask you do the same for this hurting community of beautiful children of God. Thank you for loving us the way that you do and use me to be a light house to those who do not know you and are afflicted in any way.
In your loving name, Jesus,