'I don't understand': Transgender combat vet responds to Trump ban


Tarrance Robertson has spent almost 12 years in the Minnesota National Guard, the last of them as an out transgender man. KARE 11

Young Donald Trump skipped the Vietnam War because his feet hurt.

Keep this sorry fact in mind as you consider the situation of Tarrance Robertson, a Minnesotan and an almost 12-year veteran of the Minnesota National Guard, voluntary service in wartime. During those years, Robertson served one tour of active duty in Afghanistan, KARE 11 reports, and has ascended to the rank of captain.

Robertson has no plans to leave his guard service. He might have to anyway: Thanks to three tweets from President Donald Trump, active duty transgender military members face potential ejection from the branches they serve. 

Let's get this part out of the way.



(Note the Commander in Chief's bold deployment of extra periods in his ellipses, part of his tireless toward "decisive and overwhelming..... victory" over the English language.) 

It's unclear if Trump's hastily spouted "orders" are effective ittweetiately. Not even his own people know. That leaves everything up in the air for career volunteers like Robertson, who served his combat duty as a female named Tara, and underwent gender reassignment surgery last year.

"It seems surreal," says Robertson, 34, who just returned to his house and wife in St. Paul on Wednesday, after completing his annual two-week training.

Said Robertson: “How can somebody think of people who sacrifice everything in their life as a burden? I don’t understand that at all."


Robertson also spoke to the Star Tribune, explaining that he'd tried to quickly get his National Guard registration switched from female to male because his "commanding officer was afraid something might happen."

Robertson says he and other transgender service members have "been doing their jobs without any impact" to the military. Keeping up that competent service is about all they can do at this point, according to Air Force Maj. Bryan Bree Fram, another transgender serviceman from Minnesota.

"That’s the best ammunition we have to prove we are the ready, trained and equipped force the military needs.”

Donald Trump's feet could not be reached for comment.

Sponsor Content