Since President Donald Trump declared a ban on transgender persons serving in the U.S. military, an all-out identity war has been waged in the media between factions in support of the ban and those in opposition.
Veterans have spoken out on behalf of the ban being implemented. A Navy SEAL called out Donald Trump to “meet me in person.” A wounded warrior's 17-tweet exposition about combat and his views on transgender persons serving in the military caught Americans' attention.
Adding to viewpoints in the fray is a piece by Walt Heyer, an author who seeks to “raise public awareness about those who regret gender change” and runs a website SexChangeRegret.com. His commentary in the Daily Signal is certainly provocative.
On Agreement with Donald Trump's Ban
I think he made the right decision—and as someone who lived as trans-female for several years, I should know.
On the U.S. Military Paying for Gender Transition Surgeries
Paying for transition-related surgeries for military service members and their families is beyond comprehensible.
On Political Correctness's Place in the Military
Perhaps they have forgotten that our military was forged to be the world’s strongest fighting force, not a government-funded, politically correct, medical sex change clinic for people with gender dysphoria.
On Gender Dysphoria
Gender dysphoria, the common diagnosis for one who feels at odds with his or her birth gender, develops from prolonged anxiety and depression. People are not born that way.
The “proof” for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria is having strongly held feelings—but feelings can and often do change over time.
On the Cost of Gender Transition Surgeries
Transitioning can be expensive—up to $130,000 per person for numerous body-mutilating and cosmetic procedures over many months (or years) to fashion the body to appear as the opposite sex.
Yet, no matter how skilled the surgeon, or how much money is spent, it is biologically impossible to change a man into a woman or a woman into a man. The change is only cosmetic.
On the Emotional Toll Gender Transition May Take
Beyond the financial cost, there’s the question of the service member’s military readiness during their transition or detransition, as the process often comes with a great deal of anxiety and emotional instability.
I know of many who have struggled to adapt to the new gender role for years after reassignment surgery.
On the Military's Mission
The military is expected to prepare its members in warfare: to kill, destroy, and break our enemies. The most important factors in preparing a strong military are not hormone therapy, surgical sex changes, or politically correct education.
We need psychologically fit, emotionally sound, highly trained troops to protect our nation from its enemies.
Whether or not one agrees with Heyer's argument, these are valid points that must be grappled with in order to dispute the rationale of Trump's ban. The appeal to identity politic is not enough: There are too many American lives on the line.
WATCH: CNN Meltdown Fight over Transgender Soldiers
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR