What You Missed: Anti-Trans Statements Made by Trump Administration During House Subcommittee Hearing on Transgender Service Members

Trump Administration officials compare gender-confirmation surgery to cancer surgery or having heart disease

ICYMI: GLAAD sends copies of award-winning documentary TransMilitary to members of the House Armed Services subcommittee, pens letter asking members to support transgender service members

NEW YORK – GLAAD – the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization – today released the following backgrounder to media after the Trump Administration revealed their poor knowledge and understanding of issues important to transgender Americans during a House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender services members from serving openly in the armed forces. Not only did administration officials use derogatory phrases such as “a transgender,” but they also called gender-confirmation surgery a “disqualifying surgery,” comparing it to having cancer, heart disease, or diabetes.

"No one should be surprised with the Trump Administration's out-of-touch and out-of-line response to the brave service of transgender patriots putting their lives on the line to protect all of us. Since the start of 2017, President Trump and his team have attacked the LGBTQ community at every turn, including the attempt to ban transgender service members from openly serving in the country’s armed force," said Zeke Stokes, GLAAD's Chief Programs Officer. 

GLAAD’s Trump Accountability Project (TAP) has catalogued all 95 anti-LGBTQ actions by this administration at www.glaad.org/trump. Take a look below to find all of the Trump Administration’s anti-trans statements from yesterday’s subcommittee hearing.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Trump Administration Officials Anti-Trans Statements Or Comparisons During Subcommittee Hearing

James N. Stewart, Performing the Duties off Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness:

  • Referred to a transgender man or woman as “a transgender”. (view clip here)
  • Repeatedly linked gender confirmation surgery with “disqualifying surgeries” pertaining to heart disease and diabetes. (view clip here)

Vice Admiral Raquel Bono, Director, Defense Health Agency:

  • Compared gender confirmation surgery to cancer surgery (view clip here)

***Full hearing archived here: https://www.c-span.org/video/?458284-1/house-armed-services-subcommittee-hearing-transgender-military-service


Prior to yesterday’s hearing, GLAAD mailed copies of the documentary TransMilitary to each member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel. TransMilitary, which received its world television premiere on Logo in November, is a groundbreaking documentary that won the Audience Award at South By Southwest in 2018 and has racked up a slew of awards and accolades from critics and audiences alike and was nominated for the coveted Humanitas Prize earlier this month.  The film chronicles the lives of four individuals (Senior Airman Logan Ireland, Corporal Laila Villanueva, Captain Jennifer Peace and First Lieutenant El Cook) defending their country’s freedom while fighting for their own. They put their careers and their families’ livelihoods on the line by coming out as transgender to top brass officials in the Pentagon in hopes of attaining the equal right to serve. The film is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and other streaming services.