Transgender airman: 'I would like to see them try to kick me out of my military'

Transgender airman: 'I would like to see them try to kick me out of my military'
© Getty

A prominent transgender airman pushed back against President Trump's announcement Wednesday to ban transgender people from serving in the military, saying he's determined to continue serving in the Air Force.

"I would like to see them try to kick me out of my military," Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland told the Air Force Times. "You are not going to deny me my right to serve my country when I am fully qualified and able and willing to give my life." 

Transgender troops have been able to serve openly since summer 2016, when the Obama administration lifted the ban. They also receive coverage for any treatment deemed medically necessary by their doctors, including surgery and hormone therapy. 

Trump in his Wednesday morning tweets appeared to reverse the entire policy, though it is unclear how his announcement will affect transgender individuals already serving in the Armed Forces.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ireland, a security forces airman who served in Afghanistan, gained notoriety in 2015 when The New York Times documentary "Transgender, at War and in Love" told the story of him and his spouse, Army Cpl. Laila Villanueva, a transgender woman. 

"For the president to deny an able-bodied, fully qualified person the inherent right to raise their right hand and serve their country, potentially giving their own life for our freedoms, is doing this country an injustice," Ireland told the Air Force Times.

"I would personally love for my president to meet me so I can tell him about myself, and the 15,500 honorably serving transgender military members that are fighting right now for their liberties and their country," he added. 

Ireland said he was surprised by the announcement, given the Department of Defense leadership's past support for transgender individuals serving in the military.
 
The announcement has been met with a slew of bipartisan backlash throughout Wednesday.