The Canadian Armed Forces Tweeted This Simple Response To Trump's Transgender Military Ban

"Join us!"

In the wake of President Donald Trump's continued scandals and controversial policies, sometimes a picture speaks a thousand words. We're seeing it time and again on former White House photographer Pete Souza's Instagram account, and on Wednesday we saw it from the Canadian Armed Forces.

Trump's tweets announcing his intention to ban all transgender people from serving in the United States military "in any capacity" (which would reverse a decision made by President Obama) has led many to speak out on social media, including some trans veterans. Canada's military, meanwhile, got a little cheeky about the issue on Twitter.


"We welcome [Canadians] of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Join us!" the Canadian Forces shared, along with the hashtag #DiversityIsOurStrength. The message was accompanied by a photo of a military band marching in a Pride parade, complete with rainbow flags.

The tweet also included a link to the Canadian Armed Forces job page. The account never mentioned Trump once, but this was clearly a response to his decision — and a popular one at that. According to Reuters, it received 2,500 retweets in the first hour, and as of this writing, that number is up to 29,000.

Many Twitter users praised the message, with some using the words "subtweet," "shade," and "trolling" to describe it. There was also a suggested comparison to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's response to Trump's travel ban earlier this year, in which he tweeted, "To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength."

As Buzzfeed points out, the Canadian Armed Forces has allowed LGBT people to openly serve since 1992. The military is reportedly working to update its current transgender policy, which came into effect in 2012. The Canadian Press reports that changes are expected to include "more guidance when it comes to such basics as bathrooms and showering."

According to National Defence spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier, between 2008 and 2015, the Canadian military has paid for 19 sex-reassignment operations. However, there are still reports of discrimination, and it's also reportedly difficult for trans people to have medals updated with their new names.

Although Justin Trudeau famously spoke out against Trump's travel ban, he has yet to make a statement against the president's latest decision. Canadian politician Randall Garrison, who serves as the New Democratic Party's critic on LGBT issues, said in a statement, "Prime Minister Trudeau must denounce this policy immediately in order to demonstrate that Canada not only respects human rights but that we will stand up against discrimination, even when the source is our closest neighbour and strongest ally."


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