Transgender veteran reacts to the President's tweet about no military service for transgender people

(OHIO) WOIO - The president continues to cause ripple effects with his controversial tweets. This time, he's pulling back from a policy instituted by the Obama administration that said it was okay for transgender people to openly serve.

His tweet from Wednesday morning is a throwback to a familiar GOP theme.

"I believe that judges should interpret the constitution as written," Trump said in Youngstown on Tuesday.

Under that premise, women couldn't vote, Blacks were considered 3/5 human and as property and only white men with property could vote. Trump's tweet has Cleveland's LGBT community concerned and alarmed.

As a transgender person Giovonni Santiago served in the Air Force for 3 1/2 years.

"I thought it was a travesty at best because it kind of debilitates us is a sense of how we serve with the military and accessing everyone who would like to serve and show their pride for this country," Santiago said. "People are definitely going to take it and run with it.  I think they're going to blow it to be a little bit more than it is, primarily with the fact that he's speaking of cost."

Estimates show 6,000 known transgender people are currently serving in the U.S. military.  Medically, it would cost about $8 million a year for additional medical care for that population.

"People who are serving in the military and who are transgender are not running around telling the entire world,  Hey I'm a trans-veteran. They're just quietly trying to serve the military and quietly trying to live their lives as their authentic selves," Santiago said.

Cleveland has a growing LGBT community according to Ryan Clopton-Zymler manager of the LGBT Community Center on Detroit Avenue in Cleveland.  He expressed concern about the president's tweet and its potential effect.

"To make a sweeping generalization about how and why transgender people can't serve in the military it hits the point home that our president is not considering the rights of LGBT people," Clopton-Zymler said.

Even-still, Giovonni Santiago urges transgender military personnel to not give up the fight.  No word from the Trump administration when the policy change will go into effect.

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