A National Guard member and mother of two who recently came out as trans has filed a lawsuit to fight being kicked out of Donald Trump’s military.
Blaire McIntyre of the 101st Airborne Division has spent five years in the Michigan Army National Guard and is an Afghanistan veteran.
But despite her commitment to the military, McIntyre faces losing her job because she is trans. This would be a “devastating loss” for McIntyre and her wife, who are raising two young children, she told Detroit Free Press.
In 2017, Donald Trump announced a ban on trans people serving openly in the US military, claiming it needed to focus on “decisive and overwhelming victory” without being burdened by the “tremendous medical costs” of trans personnel.
Despite several lawsuits against the ban, in 2019 a federal judge said the ban could be implemented even with the ongoing litigation. The trans military ban went into effect on 12 April, 2019.
But on Friday (30 October), McIntyre decided to fight her case and filed a lawsuit against Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer and Paul Rogers, adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, in federal court in Grand Rapids.
McIntyre is arguing in her lawsuit that the trans military ban is unconstitutional. As well as serving in the National Guard, McIntyres’s civilian job is working as a National Guard employee specialising in armament. Therefore if she is kicked out of the military, she will lose both of her jobs.
The lawsuit states: “Ms McIntyre is a transgender woman who has recently come to terms with her transgender identity.
“A medical professional diagnosed Ms McIntyre with gender dysphoria in November 2019. Ms McIntyre informed her commanding officer of the diagnosis and her transgender identity soon thereafter.”
But because of Trump’s trans military ban, the lawsuit says, McIntyre “faces involuntary discharge from service and the end of both her National Guard service and her civilian career solely because she is transgender”.
McIntyre said in a statement: “I’ve proudly dedicated the past five years to the Michigan Army National Guard.
“My commanding officer, my civilian supervisor and my peers rely on me to give my all every day and I want nothing more than to continue offering my best service.
“But the transgender military ban means I am not only facing discharge from the Guard, but termination from my civilian job as well.
“My wife and I are raising two young children, and that loss would be devastating to our family.”
McIntyres’s differs from existing lawsuits against Trump’s trans military ban in that it applies specifically to her and not to the ban as a whole, but could still have implications across the country.
Attorney Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco, said: “It may very well be that the governor is sympathetic to her position and may want to just settle.”