"Trump is not going to allow transgender people to serve in any branch of the military." This was the text I received from my husband while wrapping up a meeting with a colleague at a local sexual violence center. A quick google search landed me on breaking news articles that confirmed the US president's order that the US military is to openly discriminate against people who are willing to fight and die for our country.
The tears came as I was driving down I-94 towards my office. They were unexpected, unwelcome. I wanted to feel angry and motivated. Instead, these warm tears were bringing my attention to a hurt somewhere inside of me. I often tell people I meet with that every emotion has a purpose, and if we can be curious about the purpose, we can often find hope.
This hurt was bringing my attention to my humanity. It was reminding me that we are all connected. When a fellow human being's humanity is threatened, our own hurt is there to remind us of this connection.
It's that feeling of connection to others that I choose to be my motivation. The transgender community has endured too much pain. Being told to live in secrecy, to have your economic security and physical safety openly threatened by the leader of our nation is not ok.
This military order by the president is threatening the dignity and humanity of a group of people based on their identity. As a human being, a mother and a marriage and family therapist, I am committed to standing against this act of discrimination and co-creating conversations that preference the experiences and humanity of those impacted by this. Policies such as this are responsible for the high suicide rate and the unacceptable numbers of transgender individuals who experience violent crime, unemployment and homelessness. We can do better. We must do better.
Written by Kori Hennessy, MA, LAMFT