Dozens of people gathered in front of the White House Wednesday night as part of a last-minute protest to decry President Trump’s announcement earlier in the day that he would ban transgender people from serving in the military.
They carried anti-Trump signs and faced the White House as they chanted “Trans rights are human rights.”
“As a military spouse, I urge our leaders to protect trans troops,” one sign read.
Chelsy Albertson, 31, was visiting the nation’s capital from Indianapolis when she read Trump’s tweets this morning announcing the military ban. She searched for a protest to join and, when she couldn’t find one, created a Facebook group and started one of her own in front of the White House.
By 7 p.m., dozens of people were there and included tourists, office employees who worked nearby and transgender veterans.
Many of the protesters delivered emotional speeches explaining how the ban would impact them. Major Kimberly Moore, a transgender woman who served in the army for 20 years, said she fought to secure Americans’ freedom and think it’s “disgusting” that the country isn’t protecting the rights of its transgender citizens.
“I feel that we are disenfranchised and marginalized,” she said. “Ironically, that’s why we originally went to war with England, because they treated us like less than full citizens.”
Kara Zajac, a transgender woman who served in the Navy between 2010 and 2016, said she wanted to protest Wednesday because she has transgender friends still enlisted in the military who cannot protest.
“They fight for us, and we’ll fight for them,” she said.