President Trump's sudden announcement via Twitter on Wednesday that the U.S. Military "will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity," has reignited the national debate on transgenderism and gender dysphoria. While many politicians, celebrities and activists on the Left have condemned the return to the military's longstanding policy on those with gender dysphoria, many on the right have defended the move, including many veterans.
In his abrupt announcement, Trump explained the rationale for no longer accepting transgenders in the armed forces, citing the "tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender[s] in the military would entail." In a a video he posted on his Facebook page that has since gone viral, Army vet John Burk, wearing a "Stupidity Should Be Painful" T-shirt, expanded on that rationale, particularly stressing the psychological issues associated with those who suffer from gender dysphoria.
Burk also posted a statement on Instagram highlighting his key points:
It’s your choice to do with your body what you wish, but the military is not there to serve as a social experiment, nor pay for transgender transitioning cost related to hormone replacement therapy, or sex change operations. The military serves as a fighting force that guards this nation and does not need to be burdened with the extreme changes it would be required to undergo to accommodate such a small demographic. @realdonaldtrump has made a wise decision. Let’s also not forget that gender dysphoria is still classified as a psychological disorder, and within the trans community there is a 61% suicide rate which is a clear indicator of psychological issues.
Burk's assertion in the video that a majority of soldiers would support the return to the old policy of banning those with gender dysphoria has some evidence behind it. A survey of active duty troops published by the Military Times in January found that just 12% thought allowing transgenders was "helpful" to military readiness, while 41% found it to be "hurtful."
As for Burk's statements about the psychological impact of gender dysphoria, research overwhelmingly supports that general assertion:
Studies have consistently found severe psychological issues associated with gender dysphoria. A 2016 study found that among military veterans identifying as transgender," 90% have at least one mental health diagnosis, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression, and nearly 50% had a hospitalization after a suicide attempt or suicidal thoughts." An extensive 2011 study by the Karolinska Institute found that sex reassignment surgery rather than helping transgender individuals, resulted in worse psychological issues down the road. The study found that ten years after surgery, their "suicide mortality rose almost 20-fold above the comparable nontransgender population."
This is not the first video on transgenders in the military Burk has posted. Back in January, he recorded a video that was far more of rant than the measured statement he posted Wednesday. After that video also went viral, Burk decided to take it down, explaining his rationale on Facebook soon afterward, which revolved around a request by a television network with which he had a contract for a show that he would soon appear in.
As The Daily Wire reported Thursday, Iraq combat vet and wounded warrior J.R. Salzman made a similar argument in a series of tweets the day the "transgender ban" was announced. Here is the statement in paragraph form:
I served in Iraq in 2006. For the first five months I was on a 12 man firebase out in the middle of nowhere in the desert. Everyday was Groundhog Day. Wake up and do the same patrols, the same shifts, every single day. It was so damn hot. 150° in the gun trucks. Tracer fire would go overhead occasionally at night. IED's on the road were a daily threat. We got resupplied food every 8 days.
The stress of being out there and doing the same job every single day eats away at you. The younger guys had problems with that overtime. Any tiny little personal issue they had suddenly became a mountain. And that shit came out on that fire base. And they snapped mentally. ... Guys would literally snap over a dear John letter. Their personal issues came out and they were instantly combat ineffective.
Now take someone confused about whether they are a man/woman. Take those psychological and emotional issues and put them in that environment. Take someone who is right off the bat not uniform or part of the same team. Give them special treatment because of their identity. Take that person, put them in that stressful war environment and watch what happens. It's a f***ticking time bomb.
You have to be incredibly tough mentally, physically and emotionally. War is not a f***ing video game. It tests every ounce of your being. You can't teach someone to be a fearless warrior in a f***ing PowerPoint. You either have it or you don't. You can hack it or you can't. War is no place for people who are mentally, emotionally, or physically confused or in turmoil. You have your s*** together, or you don't. And if you don't, you'll just get people needlessly killed. Political correctness has absolutely no place in the military.