Buffalo trans activist on Trump: 'He's a liar'
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Stunned and confused — that was the reaction some people had after learning of the president's plan to bar people who are transgender from serving in the military.
President Trump tweeted about the decision Wednesday morning.
"I think you're going to get a lot of backlash from the trans community because there are so many people who openly serve and people who've served for decades, people who have high positions in the military and who have given so much to our country. To be dismissive of those people and their contributions just seems really violent," said Siobhan Fitzgerald-Matson, Pride Center of WNY Transgender Health Initiative.
The Pride Center says there are only about 15,000 transgender people currently serving.
Transgender activist Diana Patton transitioned in 2010 after serving three years in the Navy.
She says the president's actions show he's not a man of his word.
"He's a liar. He said he was going to support us and he's not. This is also ridiculous and potentially harmful to trans veterans," said Patton.
The Pride Center says not all people who are transgender want or need to have surgery.
Patton believes the medical costs are simply an excuse to bar all transgender people from serving their country.
"He wants to wipe out everything that Obama did. It has nothing to do with surgery. You're talking about health care or incentives. Either way it's wrong," said Patton.
President Trump did not say what would happen to transgender troops already serving in the military.