Watch trans military veteran Laila Ireland make a powerful case for equality.

Retired Army veteran Laila Ireland isn’t going to let President Trump kick out people out of the army without setting up a fight.

Ireland, a trans woman herself, took the stage at the San Francisco Gala of GLAAD to give a speech rejecting the administration’s plans to ban people like her from serving in the army. While she is retired, her husband, Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland, remains on active duty.

Ireland’s speech took aim at Trump’s unfounded claim that permitting trans people serve in the army is some sort of burdensome expense (the estimated overall cost of providing healthcare for trans service associates is between $2.4 and $8.4 million per year, or roughly one-fifth of what the army already spends on Viagra), and highlighted some of the key roles that trans service members are currently filling. Also to deny trans people the same right as everyone else to serve their own country and to eliminate these Americans in their articles is not damaging for the trans community, but for the army and country as a whole.

Inside her speech, Ireland called on army leaders to speak up and voice opposition to the ban until it is too late.

“It’s my expectation that our military leaders will immediately admit that transgender troops should get the very same liberty and ethics we so courageously protect,” said Ireland. It’s a message which extends beyond only army service.

She’s right. Possibly a solid show of support from military leaders and leaders for the function trans service associates play in keeping our country safe could change the length of the strategy to re-institute a ban on trans provider, anticipated to be put in position from March 2018.

Sadly, though, the ban on military service is simply one of several continuing attacks against trans people in America.

The Trump administration has adjusted how it interprets civil rights laws and nondiscrimination policies when it comes to employment, healthcare, housing, public accommodations, schooling, and so much more. Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s Supreme Court pick, has shown itself to be — as have a variety of members of the administration of Trump. Though it’s easy to conclude that whatever advancement for trans rights Trump undoes can simply be redone by the next administration, it is nowhere near that easy.

Laila hugs her husband, Logan, in this picture in The New York Times’ “Transgender, at War and at Love” documentary. Picture from The New York Times/YouTube.

Allies are needed now more than ever before to help hold the line on the progress that has been created before it is too late.

There are an estimated 1.4 million transgender people dwelling in the U.S., which at the bigger sense, remains a fairly tiny sliver of the population, making the group easy to pick on. Since the Supreme Court ruled that union equality was now the law of the land, many of the politicians and organizations which had been fighting against the drive for union have switched their attention to people.

The great thing is that the vast majority of the public does not agree with attempts to discriminate against trans people. It’s good to have these allies, but it is even better if they are prepared to speak out against hate, push back on politicians who support discrimination, and use their own voice whenever 42, to fight for equality. It’s a long struggle, but there, if allies may help win more hearts and minds.

Watch Laila Ireland’s strong speech below.

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