After the Supreme Court ruled this week that the Trump administration’s partial ban on transgender people serving in the military can go into effect, a nonbinary NASA intern spoke out about the policy in a tweet that quickly went viral.
The intern, Victoria Wegman (who uses the pronoun they), is a senior at Ohio State University who worked at the NASA Langley Research Center last fall. They tweeted Tuesday that their identity doesn’t make them less capable of working for the federal government, adding that the Trump administration is “manufacturing oppression” to distract from the nation’s “real issues.”
I’m a nonbinary NASA intern. Nothing about my identity makes me any less capable of working in the government.
This administration is manufacturing oppression as a distraction from real issues. #TransMilitaryBan
PS my coworkers and I are getting pretty desperate #shutdown pic.twitter.com/VEBUiUrpI0
— v cold (@vwegs) January 22, 2019
“I’m shocked by this level of response, and overwhelmed with joy by the number of people who have found hope and happiness just by seeing nonbinary people at NASA,” Wegman told Phoenix affiliate Fox 10. “It’s also terrifying because I feel exposed and susceptible to criticism, more than ever, by being accidentally in the spotlight for something so personal.”
Their tweet was largely met with notes of encouragement.
“I’m former Air Force, I support who you are and what you do. Thank you for bringing honor to that uniform,” one person commented.
“The bravery you’re showing is amazing. All power and solidarity to you,” another person wrote.
you are so badass and we all support the hell out of you
goddamn it!! too badass!!!!!!
— jessica a. m. 🥨 (@my2k) January 23, 2019
President Trump first announced that he planned to ban transgender people from serving in the military in a tweet in July 2017. A U.S. District Court judge in Washington, D.C., blocked the ban that October, writing in the opinion that the court was “aware of no argument or evidence suggesting that being transgender in any way limits one’s ability to contribute to society.”
After the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to step in, the court voted on Tuesday to allow the administration to implement the ban while the legal proceedings continue. The decision won’t go into effect while a nationwide injunction is still in place, but CNN reports that the Supreme Court’s decision likely means the injunction will dissolve sooner rather than later.
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