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Why Anti-Imperialists Should Support Trans Soldiers


Why Anti-Imperialists Should Support Trans Soldiers

Laurie Richards

President Trump’s sudden announcement that he will ban trans people from the armed forces has enraged progressives concerned with LGBTQ representation in the military. This poses an especially difficult situation for trans people (and allies) skeptical of U.S. foreign policy: How do we engage with the White House’s egregious bigotry while refusing to cede trans-inclusivity to imperialist narratives?


As someone who really hates militarism and the way it has so deeply infused US culture since 2001, my first thoughts about the tans solder ban was: :Would they be upset if the KKK banned trans people? Why would any Trans person join the military anyway?" "But Laurie’s thoughtful article has given me some other things to consider…


My problem has been the rush to spread the myths of what our military is doing in the world to support Transgender folk in it. It is so nice to see someone discuss how it is wrong to ban them without doing that. Thank you.

But now I’m going to say something more controversial.

A lot of people are cheering the Pentagon seeming to resist Trump on this.

I find that more disturbing than the ban. Do we really want a military that isn’t under the direction of the elected president? I mean supporting them ignoring the president when the president directs them in a direction we detest is like being okay with the removal of civil rights for those whose speech we detest.

The irony of liberals and progressives cheering the military throwing off the shackles of civilian control is frightening. Stop and think about it.


this has been a problem since the election. Democrats have been keen in their “resistance” to adopt an “enemy of my enemy” stance that has them in bed with institutions they used to frequently mistrust (and by they, I’m referring to the rank and file, NOT leadership).

It’s not just military insubordination they’ve been cheering on: intelligence operations going rogue, a corporate press they used to criticize, and several other artifacts of traditional elite power.

All in the name of attacking one person they don’t (justifiably) like. It’s a bargain with the devil.


Yes, and this is one instance where I definitely don’t like what Trump is doing. It puts my entire community at greater risk to mistreatment. But that doesn’t mean I’m suddenly going to cheer the military no longer taking orders from the President.

The solution is to get a different President in a future election and to have the elected Congress pass laws.

I think the reality is that what is really going on is simply “Our team- rah rah rah! Their team- boo boo boo!” thinking. Many cultural liberals, especially those aligned with the establishment Democratic Party, simply are more into people like them getting power and they don’t really deep down care about all the issues and doing things right. When Bush was waging war they were anti-war. When Obama did the same thing they supported it.


“Nationalism is nothing more than a way to organize self-loathing and fear of the other.” So that’s all there is to it?


I am extremely dissapointed Common Dreams published this piece, which clearly is written with the idea that the deaths of millions of innocent people in US wars are much less important (or possibly even desirable) than the right to participate in mass murder with legal impunity for thousands.

Those millions dead include trans people. Thus, supporting trans people serving in the US military is supporting killing trans people.


We want the US military to follow legal orders of the US president. But, not orders that violate the US Constitution, treaties ratified by the US Senate, or other valid laws. Unfortunately, many presidential military orders are illegal.


However, as much as I despise discrimination against Trans people and believe it is deeply morally evil, it is not presently illegal or against the Constitution for Trans people to be banned from the military, since it has only been a year since the previous ban was lifted.


I do not give a crap about this legal aspect within an organization dedicated to breaking the law.