Tech CEOs Are Calling For Trump To Let Trans Service Members Stay In The Military

After Trump tweeted that transgender people can't serve in the military, Twitter, Facebook, and Google were first out of the gate to advocate for trans military members.

On Wednesday morning, President Trump tweeted that transgender individuals wouldn't be allowed to serve in the US military "in any capacity."

He made the statements ostensibly after consulting with military experts about the medical cost and "disruption" trans people would cause in the armed forces.

The statements, if turned into law, would be a reversal of the Obama administration's policies, which allowed trans members to serve, offered assistance for their transitions, and obligated soldiers to undergo diversity training on working with trans people. There is no official policy in place rejecting trans service members yet, but two trans recruits, one from West Point and the other from the Air Force Academy, were denied their commissioning into the military in May.

In response, Silicon Valley CEOs and companies have been making statements on social media that advocate for allowing trans people to keep serving in the military.

Some are using the hashtag #LetThemServe.

Twitter and Square

Discrimination in any form is wrong for all of us #LetThemServe



We are grateful to transgender members of the military for their service. #LetThemServe

I am grateful to the transgender members of the military for their service. # LetThemServe.


Trump’s ban on transgender troops is appalling. Here’s how you can reach out, educate, and fight back 💙💗♡💗💙 👉 …


We are indebted to all who serve. Discrimination against anyone holds everyone back. #LetThemServe

Microsoft's president and chief legal officer

We honor and respect all who serve, including the transgender members of our military. #LetThemServe


Want to thank all transgender soldiers for their patriotism & believe anyone who wants to serve should be able to serve. #LetThemServe

Agree w/ Sen. McCain: anyone who wants to serve should b able 2 serve regardless of their gender identity via @TPM


1/ We owe the deepest debt of gratitude to all those who volunteer to serve in the US Armed Forces and defend our values...

2/ These patriotic Americans deserve to be honored and respected, not turned away because of who they are.


Discrimination is wrong. Diversity makes ALL organizations better. #LetThemServe #iamintel #bkrunner


Sincere Thank you to all members of the military for your service, regardless of who you are, who you love, or the gender you identify with.


A Reddit spokesperson said in a statement, "We stand with our trans users—many of whom are members of the military—and hope that Reddit can continue to offer a platform to amplify their voices."

The company pointed to users in the forum r/IAmA, who hosted an "Ask Me Anything" Q&A with transgender West Point graduate Riley Dosh on July 16. Users in the forum r/science are in the middle of hosting AMAs with researchers and doctors who study transgender-specific healthcare. The first one was on Monday. There are a number of forums on Reddit created by users dedicated to breaking down stereotypes of transgender life and to building community among trans people (r/MtF, r/FtM, and r/transpositive).

In response to questions about the ban, Lyft said, "Lyft will always stand for inclusion and acceptance. It's central to who we are and the world we are working to create."

Snapchat and Yelp declined to comment. Amazon, IBM, Spotify Adobe, Oracle, Tesla, Palantir, Dell, and HP did not immediately respond to requests for comment or make posts on social media. We will update the story with comments as we receive them.

Some of the first CEOs to respond to Trump's tweets were those who did not attend his technology roundtable in June. The CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Google's founder Eric Schmidt did attend that meeting.

The ACLU pointed out that Trump's tweets do not constitute an official change in policy.

Military rules and regulations allow trans people to serve their country. Even the commander-in-chief cannot change those via Twitter.

They are, however, a dramatic change in sentiment from the previous administration.

Caroline O'Donovan contributed to this report.

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