Transgender Afghanistan Vet Hopes Trump’s Bone Spurs Aren’t Hurting Him Anymore

STONE HILL, KENTUCKY — Lt. Michael Sabara was born Christina Sabara, and he served two tours in Afghanistan. Sabara says he joined the Army because he wanted to “give back to this great country” and because so many in his family had done so.

“There’s a pretty long tradition of military service in my family,” Lt. Sabara told us, “going back to the Revolution, believe it or not, on my mom’s side. Her family came over on the Mayflower, my dad’s family came over during the big Italian immigration wave of the 20th century. We’re a pretty prototypical middle class American family.”

Sabara says that when he came home from his second tour, he started the transition from female to male, and was looking forward to a “long and happy career” in the army. Two years ago, however, he was saddened to wake up one morning and see the tweets from his commander in chief, essentially throwing him out of the military in a very public way. Michael says he was devastated and humiliated.

President Trump, in a series of three tweets, spelled out the new armed forces policy with regards to transgender people — they’re now banned from military service — in July of 2017.

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While Sabara was temporarily spared being drummed out of the military by lower courts issuing an injunction, today the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision gave the Trump administration a victory, allowing their transgender ban to go into place. It’s an odd move, considering the case still has not been settled in the district courts, and the Supreme Court typically doesn’t weigh in on unsettled matters. Sabra told us he’s devastated by the decision this morning.

“I was just devastated and heartbroken,” Sabara said, “because I love this country so much, and I just wanted to serve it to the best of my abilities. Just because I transitioned from my birth gender to the one I actually identify with, nothing changed in my heart, in my mind, about my love of the United States.

When asked, Sabara said he wasn’t angry at President Trump, just confused.

“How can someone tell me I’m not qualified to serve just because of my genitals,” Sabara asked, “My genitals aren’t firing my weapon. My genitals aren’t even involved in any way, shape, or form in my combat readiness or in live combat situations. I was never in Afghanistan, in the middle of a fire fight, thinking about how uncomfortable my vagina was making me. I was just doing my duty, is all.”

Lt. Sabara was asked if he had a message for President Trump.

“Well, I guess I’d say for starters that I wish he’d go and talk to my team,” Sabara said, “and ask them about whether my transgender status would be a distraction. Then, I guess I’d tell him that I hope his bone spurs — you know, the ones that he said he had and that’s why he couldn’t actually do what I’m doing, back when there was a draft? I’d tell him I hope those bone spurs were feeling better. I’d hate to think the pain of those bone spurs keeping him from thinking like a rational adult and not a scared, cynical politician trying to shore up his base.”

Pressed as to why he wasn’t more angry at Trump, Sabara just shrugged and laughed a sad laugh.

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“I mean, I’m hurt and devastated that my commander in chief doesn’t respect my basic humanity,” Sabara said, “but look who it is making this decision. This whole country has turned into a farce, a joke. By a bunch of people who are scared of me, but only because they don’t know me.”

Sabara said he thinks that people would be shocked to find out their reasoning for supporting a ban on transgender military service makes them sound a lot like some other Americans in history.

“The people saying black people shouldn’t be in the military,” Sabara said, “and the people who said women shouldn’t serve. They all said the same thing. The military isn’t a social experiment. I agree with that. But it’s not a social experiment to tell a willing adult they’re allowed to sacrifice their life if needs be in service to our country; it’s just humane treatment.”

Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter because he has a potty mouth.


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