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MTV VMAs 2017: Transgender Service Members Make A Statement On Red Carpet

MTV invited six members of the military in the wake of the president signing a memo banning transgender individuals from enlisting.

28/08/2017 09:42

Days after President Donald Trump signed a memo banning transgender soldiers from enlisting in the military, several service members are made a statement on the MTV Video Music Awards red carpet.

The six members of the U.S. military who attended Sunday night’s event are, per Billboard, Akira Wyatt (Navy Corpsman Petty Officer 3rd Class), Jennifer Peace (U.S. Army Captain), Logan B. Ireland (Air Force Staff Sergeant), Sterling James Crutcher (Air Force Airman First Class), Laila Ireland (retired Army veteran) and Brynn Tannehill (Former Navy Lt. Commander).

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President of GLAAD Sarah Kate Ellis and transgender military members attend the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards

“Historically, the VMAs have been a huge platform for social issues that are currently happening, so being able to have that platform and share our stories is important to us,” Laila Ireland said to Billboard.

Logan B. Ireland spoke out earlier this summer after Trump’s tweets about his intention to ban transgender service members from serving.

“For the President to deny an able-bodied, fully qualified person the inherent right to raise their right hand and serve their country, potentially giving their own life for our freedoms, is doing this country an injustice,” he said at the time.

Except for Brynn Tannehill, who was in uniform, the service members walked the VMAs red carpet Sunday night in jeans and black T-shirts identifying their military affiliation.

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The made a powerful statement about Trump's ban on transgender soldiers from enlisting in the military

Aside from having an important presence on the red carpet at the event, the service members were also enjoying the star-studded award show, meeting celebrities who joined in their support of transgender troops.

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The network announced its invitation to transgender service members Friday, with MTV President Chris McCarthy saying in a statement, “Any patriot who is putting their own life at risk to fight for our freedom and stands for equality is a hero at MTV, and to young people everywhere.”

Tannehill, who served in the Navy for 17 years, said the invite “sends a clear and unambiguous message that we will not allow discrimination against trans people.”

This story originally appeared on our US site but has been adapted for our UK audience.

MTV VMAs Red Carpet 2017
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