Independence Day is a time for celebration and reflection for many Americans. However, for transgender veterans and military personnel, this year’s holiday feels different. In recent months, a number of states have passed anti-trans legislation, including Florida’s new bathroom laws and Kansas’s decision to change state IDs and birth certificates back to a person’s sex observed at birth.
“These laws and actions are discriminatory and harmful,” said Cassandra Williamson, Executive Director of the Transgender and Diverse Veterans of American Action Group. “They send a message to transgender people that they are not welcome in our society. We are not going to be silenced. We will continue to fight for our rights, and we will not back down.”
“This Independence Day is a day in our Nation that is seeing some progress at least,” said Danni Stubenrod, Chair of the Board of Directors of TDVA Action Group. “There is progress being made for transgender Mainers, but the VA is still 14 months behind or more on many services and we are committed to seeing this through and getting this done,”
Sarah Colasanto, CEO/Founder of The Transgender Republican, Inc., referred to their mission statement, “We are committed to promoting equal rights and freedom under the banner of the U.S. Constitution for all transgender individuals.”
“One of the basic foundations of military service is the sacred obligation of the American people to provide care for veterans,” said Danny Ingram of American Veterans for Equal Rights. “All veterans. Every veteran. Denying life-saving care to transgender veterans, or any group of veterans, is a betrayal of that sacred trust.”
“We are standing with our transgender citizens even in the face of the storm opposed to our existence,” said Williamson. “We will not be intimidated. We will not be silenced. We will continue to fight for our rights, and we will win.”
Happy Independence Day!
About TDVA Action Group
TDVA Action Group (tdva-ag.com) is a national organization with members and allies in every state in the US that advocates for the rights of transgender veterans and military personnel. The group has been outspoken against anti-trans legislation, and it is calling on our allies and families across the nation to stand with us as we fight to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in all areas of life, including employment, housing, and public accommodations.