After President Trump’s announcement Wednesday baning transgender people from serving “in any capacity“ in the military, one prominent transgender airman said he’s more determined than ever to continue serving in the Air Force.
“I would like to see them try to kick me out of my military,” Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland said in an interview with Air Force Times. “You are not going to deny me my right to serve my country when I am fully qualified and able and willing to give my life.”
Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland, is married to a transgender woman who serves in the Army, Cpl. Laila Villanueva, and the two appeared in a 2015 New York Times documentary, “Transgender, at War and in Love.”
“For the president to deny an able-bodied, fully qualified person the inherent right to raise their right hand and serve their country, potentially giving their own life for our freedoms, is doing this country an injustice,” Ireland said. “I would personally love for my president to meet me so I can tell him about myself, and the 15,500 honorably-serving transgender military members that are fighting right now for their liberties and their country.”
“When you have to serve and you aren’t able to be yourself, it’s going to dampen your spirit,” Buch said in that profile. “If you’re going to have to constantly worry about being outed, or constantly worry about your safety or your health — and do that all in silence — you’re never going to be as good as you could be.”
“We have pilots, we have doctors, we have combat medics, we have security forces members like myself,” Ireland said. “We are everywhere in the military, and for our president to not have a military member’s back that is willing to die for him, blows my mind. And it just makes me very motivated today to continue my training.”
Other transgender military personal expressed the same determination to stay in uniform in interviews with Military Times.
“I will continue to report for duty in the uniform of the day until I am forced to receive my DD214” discharge papers, said Sgt. Jack Schuler a transgender man and Army reservist who is a chemical operations specialist. He previously served in the Marine Corps.
“I love serving this country and its people,” he said. ”I love being a part of this military family. My dream is to retire after a long career. I’m not going anywhere, anytime soon.”
It is unclear so far how President’s new policy will affect transgender people already serving. In a short statement, the Pentagon said it will work with the White House and “will provide revised guidance to the department in the near future.”