Transgender community fears military ban will make violence against them worse

Members of the transgender community here in New Orleans say they constantly face the threat of violence and discrimination. They're now worried the president's latest ban will make everyday life even harder.

NEW ORLEANS -- There's growing concern in the transgender community following President Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military.

Members of the transgender community here in New Orleans say they constantly face the threat of violence and discrimination. They're now worried the president's latest ban will make everyday life even harder.

"It's a lot of violence," Jada Cardona said.

"Day to day it's always something," Jasmine Davis agreed.

From documented cases of harassment on Claiborne, to the murders of outspoken activists, in 2017 the transgender community continues to live in fear.

"It's awful and it's disheartening and actually depressing," Davis said.

It's not just New Orleans. So far this year 15 transgender people have been murdered across the country. 22 were killed last year. Today, an already marginalized group suddenly feels even more at risk.

"I feel like I'm a target," Cardona said.

"It's sad that now I have to continue to watch my back because my president is affirming discrimination," Davis added.

On July 26, President Trump tweeted that transgender people will no longer be allowed to serve in the military. Currently there are anywhere from 2,500 to 7,000 transgender members serving our country and up to 4,000 in reserve. Trump called transgender service members "disruptive" and too expensive.

"It will be costly to put my life on the line for my country?" Davis asked.

The White House says the ban is to promote military efficiency.

"The decision is based on military decision, it's not to be anything more than that," Sarah Sanders said during a White House press briefing Wednesday.

But those in the transgender community say there is more to it than that.

"It makes others think it's OK to discriminate because that's showing that we're different, we're less than," Davis said.

They say they just want to be viewed as the same as any American.

"We're people, we're beings and we exist," Cardona said.

Because at the end of the day, they say trans rights are human rights.

"That's all we want is to be included. That's it. We're not asking for much," Davis said.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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