Human beings are not burdens.

On Wednesday, a hateful, pitiful, corrupt shell of a man proclaimed that transgender people are a burden. He proclaimed, in the most flippant form possible, that to allow transgender people into the military would create financial strain on the US government. Once again, this man failed to see the humanity in other people. He failed to consider the burden of his own callous, disgusting words and actions.

As if effectively banning transgender people from the US military won’t create an undue mental and emotional burden for those citizens who are affected. As if that mental and emotional burden won’t end up hurting the country more than an inclusive policy would. As if this statement won’t add to the waves of depression that have been hitting those who are the most disenfranchised. Being transgender should not mean that one’s rights as a citizen are revoked. Being transgender should not mean one’s rights as a human being are revoked.

The true burden on this country is the lack of diversity within the highest echelons of government and leadership. Diversity needs to be celebrated. It needs to be cherished. It needs to be seen as important. Being around a diverse group of people fosters tolerance. Being around a diverse group of people opens up important opportunities: opportunities for new experiences, for new understandings of oneself and of others, and for new relationships. Opportunities for growth. Transgender lives matter. Transgender people are PEOPLE. A government that denies anyone’s humanity, that denies that equality that should exist for ALL human beings, is a government that needs to be kicked out.

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