President Donald Trump’s announcement that the US will no longer allow transgender people to serve “in any capacity” in the military was met with immediate condemnation and backlash.
The reaction from military members, the transgender community as well as the wider public has been strong, with protests organised in New York within hours of Trump making the statement on Twitter.
Many organisations have been voicing their frustration through emotive tweets, including progressive US veteran group Vote Vets who tagged the official POTUS account and asked Trump to spot the transgender troops in a photo of tombstones in a cemetery.
Recently released Chelsea Manning, a former army private, joined protestors outside the White House after accusing the US military of “cowardice”.
The Canadian military trolled Trump with the most glorious of tweets by announcing they welcome recruits “of all sexual orientations and gender identities”, complete with a picture of some LGBT flag bearing musical troops.
Prominent transgender airman Logan Ireland, pictured in front of an army vehicle and armed with a gun, jokingly dared Trump to try and remove him from his job.
He told the Air Force Times: “I would like to see them try to kick me out of my military.”
George Takei was a strong voice among celebrities opponents hitting back at Trump. He warned the US president, who he has vocally opposed for some time, that he had “pissed off the wrong community”.
Here in the UK, the reaction has been solidarity with a sense of pride that the UK welcomes troops of all sexualities and genders.
Rear Admiral Alex Burton, a senior Royal Navy officer who serves as Commander UK Maritime Forces, tweeted saying he is “so glad we are not going this way”.
SNP MP Stewart McDonald hit back at Trump by suggesting he should meet with transgender soldiers Chloe Allen and Hannah Winterbourne who he described as “incredible members of the UK’s armed forces”.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday afternoon, Trump stated that the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail”.
The Pentagon lifted a ban against transgender people serving in the military.
His announcement did not say what would happen to transgender people already in the military.
The Pentagon has refused to release any data on the number of transgender troops currently serving but it is estimated that there are between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender service members on active duty.