Now Reading
After Trump’s ban, student loses military scholarship because he is trans

After Trump’s ban, student loses military scholarship because he is trans

Map Pesqueira has been hit by Trump's trans military ban

A freshman at UT (University of Texas) in Austin has reportedly lost his military scholarship after the introduction of President Trump’s ban on trans people in the military.

The Daily Texan reports trans man Map Pesqueira received a national three-year Reserve Officers’ Training Corps scholarship.

Pesqueira, 19, has had top surgery and takes hormones to aid his transition. He is studying at UT with ambitions to be a filmmaker and serve in the army. He’s a cadet in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (AROTC) and is in his second year of studies.

Last Friday, President Donald Trump’s ban on trans people serving in the military came into effect. Advocates believe it could impact 13,000 serving individuals. Pesqueira illustrates how it may also affect those intending to serve in the military.

The Department of Defense informed Pesqueira his scholarship was voided. He believes the decision is due to Trump’s new ban.

‘Since I’ve already had top surgery, hormone replacement therapy, gender marker and (a) name change, I can’t go in under this policy,’ Pesqueira said.

‘I’d automatically be discriminated. I really do see (Trump’s policy) as a waste of resources, money, time and personnel. It’s made figuring out my future education so much harder.’

‘Grandfather’ appeal fails

Pesqueira says UT’s army ROTC department chair, Lieutenant colonel Matthew O’Neill, tried to help him by requesting the Defense Department ‘grandfather’ him.

In this context, ‘grandfathered’ means offering exemption to someone in relation to a new law because they were accepted before the law took effect.

The Defense Department website states anyone serving or under contract to enter the military who was diagnosed with gender dysphoria before last Friday is grandfathered under a previous 2016 policy allowing trans troops.

However, it appears the request was unsuccessful.

O’Neill declined to comment to the Texan Daily and instead referred all enquiries to the Defense Department. It too failed to respond to enquiries and was not immediately available at the time of writing.

Supporters come together to help Pesqueira 

In the meantime, Pesqueira has turned to a GoFundMe to help meet his study costs. At the time of going to press, he’d raised over $6,400 of his $20,000 goal in just over five days (the bulk of it since the Texan Daily story was published yesterday).

‘Without help, I will have to return back home to San Antonio, TX where there is no guarantee of the future of my education.’

Among those dismayed to hear of Pesqueira’s plight was LGBT advocacy group and media organization, GLAAD. It tweeted, ‘The impact of Trump’s ban on transgender service members is already being felt. Map Pesqueira may not be able to continue his education at the University of Texas because of the ban.’

In an email to Gay Star News, Pesqueira said: ‘I have received a huge wave of support through all of this from my family members, friends, and those who are following the story.

‘I am extremely grateful to be supported by so many people who are rooting for me.’

See also

Trump’s religious freedom adviser Tony Perkins: Trans flags are ‘unpleasant’