When Donald Trump tweeted a ban on transgender people serving openly in the military this week, he cited “the tremendous medical costs” of treating transgender troops as a reason for excluding them from the ranks. A writer for the Washington Post quickly surfaced an old report that the military spends $84 million a year on Viagra, Cialis, and other erectile dysfunction medication to service members and retirees. The Post opened a floodgate: Writers and social-media gadflies critical of Trump’s half-baked transgender tweets pounced on the Department of Defense’s “male enhancement” expenditures to highlight a double standard. This involved a lot of well-intentioned commenters making a lot of easy E.D. jokes.
Today, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to announce that he will reinstate a transgender ban across the military that was lifted last year under then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. The removal of the ban allowed thousands of troops to serve openly as transgender, but its reinstatement may now force these men and women out of their careers.