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You are correct, Zack: the high suicide ideation that exists in the transgender community is due to oppression, lack of acceptance, and lack of access to resources for transgender people and their loved ones. Therefore, it is unsurprising that transgender people are twice as likely to enlist in the armed services as cisgender (non-trans) Americans. Excluding people who have the desire and fitness to serve in the military will only exacerbate this issue. Furthermore, Gorka’s statements are incredibly paternalizing. Transgender people should be treated as equals, not as fragile “children” in need of protection. Lastly, transgender people themselves are the experts on their experiences. If the administration wants to better understand this issue — though I’m not sure they do — then they should engage in dialogue with transgender members of the military on active duty and veterans.

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