On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that transgender Americans will no longer be allowed to serve in the military "in any capacity," citing ostensible high medical costs for such service members and reversing an Obama-era policy permitting them to serve openly.
To be clear, there is no actual evidence that transition-related procedures like hormone therapy or surgeries would constitute a financial burden to the military, as my colleague Madeline Farber points out.
But there is one area where transgender Americans carry disproportionate weight: their representation in the armed forces themselves. As the Los Angeles Times outlined in 2015 prior to the Pentagon's decision allowing transgender service members, UCLA researchers found that a staggering 21% of all transgender U.S. adults (or 150,000 transgender people) have served in the military. That's compared with 10% of the overall American population. An estimated 3 out of every 1,000 adult Americans are transgender.
There's also an imbalance depending on whether a person was assigned a male or female sex at birth. The UCLA researchers, using a model that applied changes to a survey of 6,500 transgender Americans from 2008, found that 32% of transgender people assigned as male at birth served (versus 20% of men in the broader population) and 5.5% of those assigned female at birth served (versus 1.7% of women in the broader population). Read more via Fortune