Discriminating against soldiers
Regarding the July 27 front-page article “Transgender ban in military revived”:
Transgender people already suffer from the stress of widespread prejudice and abuse, beginning in childhood with bullying and physical assault. Major depression is sufficiently common as to produce a staggering rate of suicide attempts and suicides. The lifetime suicide attempt rate for transgender people ranges from 32 to 50 percent; that rate is 4.6 percent in the population at large.
Yet there is ample evidence that gender affirmation, i.e., the acceptance of one’s gender identity, can markedly improve mental health. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity, is an institutional model worth emulating. Unfortunately, such evidence is unlikely to convince President Trump that gender affirmation is worth supporting. We need a president who is more knowledgeable and compassionate.
Edward N. Squire Jr., Fredericksburg