Transgender Green Country Veteran Frustrated With President Trump's Tweets
TULSA, Oklahoma - President Donald Trump announced on Twitter the United States will not allow transgender individuals to serve in the military.
Green Country veteran Sharon Queen called the president's directive an attack on the transgender community. The sailor believes the president's decision represents a lack of knowledge and said there is no reason one group can't serve their country alongside another.
"I joined the Navy in 1988. I spent a total of 20 years active duty service. Served on three different ships, a total of six different times. In my 20 years of service, I did nine major deployments," she said.
Queen is a decorated veteran - four good conduct medals, two meritorious unit commendations and one Navy unit commendation - but in 2006, those accolades just weren't enough.
"I got to a point where the idea of living a life other than my own was unbearable, it was overwhelming. It got to a point where there wasn't an option other than to be myself," Queen said.
Queen, a Machinist Mate 2nd Class, started her transition while she was still serving in the military.
"There was a wonderful set of medical professionals and military professionals who, to a number, did their best to help me be a better person as opposed to getting me in trouble for identifying as transgender," Queen said.
She retired in 2009 as proud member of the U.S. Navy.
Queen said Mr. Trump’s tweets felt like a slap in the face.
“This is not how we make America great. This is not how we succeed in our missions both in a military status or in a societal status."
Queen is working to give back to veterans in need and hopes the Oklahoma community will do the same, regardless of their differences.
"We only want the same rights, privileges and opportunities as everyone else in our society, and one of those rights, one of those opportunities, is to wear the uniform, to serve proudly in our armed forces, to serve proud, open and safe," she said.
In his tweet, Trump said the military must be focused on victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.
After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
It's not clear what will happen to transgender troops currently serving in the military.