July 26, 2017
Contact:Jason Tengco, NaFFAA Executive Director
Tel. 650-867-9837

NaFFAA Stands with Transgender Service Members

Washington, DC – Today, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that the “United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military” due to the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” entailed. According to a 2016 study by the RAND Corporation, there are an estimated 1,320 to 6,630 transgender service members. Following the President’s announcement, the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) issued the following statements:

“President Trump’s latest order banning transgender individuals from serving in the military is a complete affront to America’s standing as a beacon of equality and inclusion,” said Brendan Flores, NaFFAA’s National Chairman. “Individuals who love their country should be able to serve it proudly and honorably, regardless of how they identify.”

Viva Tarroza-Taft, member of NaFFAA’s Board of Governors and U.S. Army (Retired), added: “This is a major setback to the progress made on behalf of LGBT military personnel. There are thousands of transgender individuals already serving honorably and effectively in the military, and this action pushes them back into the shadows. When members of our brave military are forced to hide and are subject to discriminatory retaliation, it impairs military readiness.”

Jason Tengco, NaFFAA’s first openly gay Executive Director, concluded: “Rather than deeming transgender individuals as a ‘disruption,’ we should work to educate each other about how heteronormative language and systems can allow for bigotry and intolerance to spread. NaFFAA looks forward to uplifting our global Filipino LGBT diaspora – everyone from Jake Zyrus to Geena Rocero – and advocating for our community’s diverse segments.”

# # #

About NaFFAA

The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Established in 1997, NaFFAA has been the standard bearer for promoting the welfare and well-being of the 4 million Filipinos and Filipino Americans throughout the United States. NaFFAA’s vision is to serve as the voice of all Filipinos and Filipino Americans by uniting, engaging, and empowering diverse individuals and community organizations through leadership development, civic engagement, and national advocacy.