Matthew (Emily) Mol, 32, a chief petty officer in the Navy, is transitioning to female and trying to focus on moving forward.
“My initial reaction has always been somewhat reserved and today was no different. It’s a tweet, not an order,” Mol said. He said he would contact his representatives but would comply with whatever orders are issued. “I’m not happy with it of course, but that’s the point: We do what we’re told. We serve honorably and we serve.”
Veteran Emma Shinn, 41, said she is appalled by the president’s tweets, and sees them as a painful distraction.
“I’m absolutely disgusted. I think it’s using transgender service members as a political pawn to distract from the ongoing issues the admin has,” Shinn said.
Still, others fear what could happen, especially considering how frequently the president uses Twitter. Frankie Perez, who recently ended his decade of service to go to college, said the news of the ban did not come exactly as a surprise to him because he doesn’t believe the Trump administration has been supportive of the LGBTQ community.
“I know it was just a tweet — it’s not anything in policy yet — but that has a lot of influence,” Perez said. “The administration all believes in a lot of the same things, so if Trump is tweeting about it, it could become policy.”