See which celebrities were star struck to meet the transgender service members at the VMAs

Last night at the 2017 MTV VMAs six transgender military service members took to the red carpet alongside GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis to share their personal stories and proudly raise the visibility for the over 15,000 current U.S. military service members and estimated 134,000 American veterans.

U.S. service members Sterling James Crutcher, Logan Ireland, Jennifer Peace, and Akira Wyatt, and veterans Laila Ireland and Brynn Tannehill were invited by MTV to attend the 2017 VMAs after President Trump announced his intention to bar transgender people from serving 'in any capacity' in the U.S. military. Late Friday evening, President Trump officially directed the Pentagon to move forward with this discriminatory policy due to take effect on March 23, 2018.

"These brave and inspiring service members are not only serving our country and protecting us all, but now thanks to MTV their stories will reach billions around the world and demonstrate how unjust and unpatriotic President Trump's proposed ban is," GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told Entertainment Tonight during the event.

Read about their military service here and visit Trans Military and SPARTA for more information and stories from and about transgender military service members, veterans ,and their families. Red carpet guests Logan and Laila Ireland first came out as transgender service members in The New York Times Emmy® nominated short film, "Transgender, at War and in Love." Their full story and that of Capt. Jennifer Peace, who also attended the 2017 MTV VMAs, is coming out in the soon to be released feature documentary, TransMilitary.

The service members received huge applause when they entered the red carpet and spoke with MTV. Today their stories are running around the world, helping shift the narrative around Trump’s ban by making sure America hears the voices of those directly affected by this discriminatory policy. Here are some behind-the-scenes photos of their night!

Numerous celebrities including Heidi Klum, Mel B, Kyle Richards, Tyler Posey, Gigi Gorgeous, Raymond Braun, Billy Eichner and Brendan Scannell voiced their support for the service members, joining the voices of the majority of Americans in all fifty states who oppose banning transgender Americans from military service.

 

Honored to meet @laila.ireland @transmilitary at the @vmas #OpenTransService @glaad #thankyou

A post shared by Kyle Richards Umansky (@kylerichards18) on

Service members also wore  GLAAD ‘&’ pins on the red carpet to represent all marginalized communities standing together.

The 2017 MTV VMAs were filled with powerful moments activism for marginalized communities who are facing attacks by an administration focused on strengthening institutional discrimination and walking back hard-fought progress. Susan Bro, the mother of the late Heather Heyer, who was killed in Charlottesville, announced the launch of the Heather Heyer Foundation from the VMA stage. Logic spoke powerfully about mental health and suicide following his performance of 1-800-273-8255. Paris Jackson called out the violent ideology of white supremacists and Reverend Robert Mead, a descendant of Robert E. Lee, condemned white supremacy and called all those with privilege and power to do the same.

Help GLAAD continue to further amplify the stories of transgender service members and fight back against President Trump’s discriminatory ban by getting your own "They Make Us Stronger" t-shirt, created in partnership with Kesha and George Takei and seen on the iconic VMA red carpet.