FOR a man late to politics, President Donald Trump has a master’s feel for divisive “wedge issues”—as gay and transgender Americans are learning to their chagrin. In 2016 Mr Trump delighted gay Republicans by hailing “LGBTQ citizens” at his nominating convention. In part this reflected a Manhattanite’s relaxed worldview. It was also a bid to divide gays from his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, accused by Mr Trump of planning to open borders to homophobic followers of radical Islam.
This year, on July 26th, Mr Trump unexpectedly tweeted that after consulting “my Generals” he will ban transgender individuals from military service, reversing an Obama-era decision from 2016. Mr Trump cited the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” of allowing such troops to serve.
His intervention was timely. With public opinion growing ever more tolerant towards gay Americans, partisans on right and left are making the once-obscure field of transgender…Continue reading