Six trans troops were invited to attend MTV’s VMAs this year as a statement against President Donald Trump’s proposed ban on trans troops serving in the US Armed Forces.
Sterling James Crutcher, Logan Ireland, Jennifer Peace, and Akira Wyatt, and veterans Laila Ireland and Brynn Tannehill walked the red carpet. The did a series of interviews and posed for photos with celebrities.
‘Any patriot who is putting their own life at risk to fight for our freedom and stand for equality is a hero at MTV, and to young people everywhere,’ MTV president Chris McCarthy said in a statement ahead of tonight’s VMAs.
— MTV (@MTV) August 27, 2017
‘Our nation stays safe because we have the best and brightest defending it,’ Jennifer Peace told Billboard.
‘So I hope that people who are watching [the VMAS] see it and think, ‘Hey, if we’re excluding these individuals who are qualified and capable to serve, and we’re kicking them out — and we’re not filing new people into the service solely based on them being transgender, and not based on their potential, are we as safe as we should be?’.’
— Tegan and Sara (@teganandsara) August 27, 2017
GLAAD to be here
GLAAD (LGBTI media lobby group) and SPARTA, a LGBTQ service members and veterans group joined the troops at the VMAs.
‘MTV continues to be a pioneer and fierce advocate for the LGBTQ community by giving one of the most visible platforms to voices that need to be heard,’ said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD.
‘Throughout all the tweets, memos, and speculation, brave transgender Americans are still serving their country and defending the freedoms of this nation while meeting the same rigorous standards of their peers. We are proud to stand with them.’
On Friday President Trump issued a memo announcing the end of transgender military service starting in March, 2018.
It followed from a series of tweets he sent in July saying trans troops should not serve because of the ‘medical costs and disruption’ they would cause. This is despite the fact trans health care costs the military only one-fifth of what it spends on viagra.
Advocates, military experts and personnel and lawmakers have condemned the proposed ban.
Trans troops and the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) have filed seperate lawsuits to try and stop the ban.