I’ve been spending the past few days reading and studying the stories of active duty and transgender military personnel and veterans, and I can’t help but notice a strange pattern that’s taking place in the news media: the suicide statistics for our trans community are now suddenly missing from nearly every news article that’s being written about the transgender military population group.
How can you explain this other than to point out how the shifting sands of the culture wars waged by the two media sides have now shifted again.
And while the Los Angeles Times wrote a great Op-Ed today about the history of transgender military service, it was clearly lost on their journalist that the historical figures they used as examples fought and served while not getting any transgender medical treatments such as hormones or surgeries.
Brianna Gallegos (July 29, 2017). Local transgender airman speaks out about President Trump’s tweets. Krqe.com (Archive)
Kevin Fagan (July 30, 2017). Transgender Army veteran wonders if the door will slam shut. Sfchronicle.com (Archive)
For anyone not paying attention, it’s strikingly clear that the same statistical tools that were once used to advance transgender rights are now being used to destroy transgender military service.
“Hartzler’s office calculated the additional costs of surgeries for new transgender recruits every year.”
“There are 178,000 new military members per year, and assuming 0.7 percent are transgender, 1,246 new transgender service members each year. Assuming 30 percent get surgeries, there would be an additional 374 surgical transitions per year, or 3,740 over 10 years. Those surgeries would cost $493 million, and with 3 percent inflation a total of $579 million by 2027.”
“The costs of active duty transgender surgeries and those of new recruits over a 10-year period total $1.349 billion.”
“It is likely even more transgender service members would seek sex reassignment surgeries if they are taxpayer-funded.”
“More than 30 percent of transgender individuals say they want to have various sex reassignment surgeries in the future, according to the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey.”
“Fifty-three percent of men who identify as women say they someday want a breast augmentation, and 61 percent say want an orchiectomy, the surgical removal of one or both testicles, in the future.”
“Sixty-four percent say they want a vaginoplasty, the construction of a vagina, someday.”[Citation]
Even the transgender advocates like Kristin Beck have jumped into the numbers game. What the source of this data?
“Beck told TampaBay.com she thinks barring them will cost more in lawsuits than the savings Trump touted in medical and other costs. She said she estimates there are 75,000 to 150,000 transgender personnel in uniform.”[Citation]
I feel as if I’m writing an After Action Review (AAR) on the failures of transgender military service, but this lesson is strikingly clear: be careful of what you advocate and how you advocate it. Because it can also be used against us. Like statistics were in this case.