A Step Towards Equal Rights For All

By Kelly McCool, Opinion Writer

The administration of President Donald Trump has been stopped from carrying through with its plan to exclude transgender people from the military as of Monday, October 30 th. This is due to the ruling of federal judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. Now transgender people are still allowed to give their services to the military.

It is such a relief to know that this idea of Trump has fallen through. When someone lives in America, they constantly hear that America is meant to be a place where everybody will be treated with equal respect, will be given equal opportunity, and will be given equal rights. Unfortunately, the American people have yet to see that day where everyone is treated equally. Our generation has been able to see so much advancement in laws against discrimination, but there is still a very long way to go—especially when in regard to those who are members of the LGBT+ community.

When the transgender ban was first brought up, it completely destroyed all of the efforts that people have put in to make the country a better place for all. There has been much more backtracking in the United States of America than there has been moving forward in that respect.

Thankfully, for the time being, this ban has been stopped in its tracks, as it always should have been. Every person should have an equal chance to partake in the military. If someone wants to give their services and fight for and support their home country, then it should not matter what their gender is or what sexual identity they are. It is completely out of line to just write off transgender people as being a “distraction” that has stopped other military people from completing their jobs. When Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the administration did not have sufficient evidence to carry through with it, she was absolutely right. One possibility for which the Trump administration wanted to enact this law could have been due to the medication that transgender people have to go on while they are in the process of transitioning. In that case, I can see some reasoning behind it. When taking medications for transgender transformation, it can be like going through a second puberty, which can come with rapid changes of emotion. Therefore, while undergoing their transformation, there can be a concern for having transgender people involved in the military. However, once they have completely finished their transition, there is no reason why they should not be allowed to fight for their country along with cisgender military members.

Unfortunately, not everyone in the United States feels the same way towards transgender and LGBT+ rights, including politicians and government officials. Lauren Ehrsam, a spokesperson for the Justice Department, has been quoted with saying the following statement in agreement with the Trump administration: “We disagree with the court’s ruling and are currently evaluating the next steps.” It is so disgraceful that there are people in high-ranked places in America who do not want to end discrimination and do not think that everyone should be given equal opportunity. We pride ourselves as being citizens of a country where there is equal justice and respect for all, but that has yet to remain true for all people. It should not matter what one’s race, religion, gender, or sexual identity is.

There is so much hypocrisy currently happening in the United States, especially when the different political parties come into play. Instead of talking things out with each other in a calm and respectful manner, people are very quick to put their own thoughts before the feelings of others. This cannot happen if we want to keep all of the original goals for the United States of America in place. We all have to be able to work together so that we can make the changes to end discrimination and inequality once and for all. There should be a balanced set of rights that apply to all people, no matter what one’s race, gender, sexual identity, religion, etc. is. If we could learn to do that, then America will be headed in the right direction and can eventually become the way it was always envisioned—a place where everyone is given equal respect, equal opportunity, and equal rights.


A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 7th print edition.

Contact Kelly at


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