This post originally appeared on the SAGE website.
SAGE, the nation’s largest and oldest organization serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender elders, will not stand by quietly as the Trump administration continues its attempts to erase the transgender community – this time from the ranks of the U.S. military, in which they have served for generations.
A recent study found that 20 percent of transgender people have served in the military, which is double the percentage of the general population. President Trump’s outrageous statement that they can no longer serve their country comes on the heels of his administration’s plan to exclude transgender elders from federal elder services and is part of an overall effort by the Trump administration to disenfranchise LGBT people.
Earlier this week, via SAGE’s “We Refuse to Be Invisible” campaign, more than 6,000 people from all 50 states joined a bipartisan group from Congress in demanding that the Trump administration restore transgender elders to the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants, which shapes the allocation of billions of federal dollars to vital elder services.
“President Trump’s most recent anti-transgender policy statement discounts and disrespects the professionalism of all of our troops, undercuts our national security, and harms our country,” says SAGE CEO Michael Adams. “Our military and our nation are better than this. SAGE is telling the Trump administration loud and clear that transgender people cannot and will not be erased.”
SAGE is the country’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people. SAGE also offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older adults and their caregivers, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBT organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and cultural competence training through SAGECare. With staff located across the country, SAGE coordinates a growing network of affiliates across the country. Learn more at sageusa.org.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.