Transgender army veteran speaks out on Trump's military transgender ban

Army veteran and transgender woman Laila Ireland reacts to Trump's decision to ban transgender people from the U.S. military.
13:22 | 07/26/17

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Transcript for Transgender army veteran speaks out on Trump's military transgender ban
Hi everyone I'm on in a vase in New York we'll president Trump's announcement this morning suddenly and unexpectedly that. Transgender Americans would no longer be allowed to serve in the military in any capacity. Has sent shockwaves through not only the community but the rest of the country. Here with us now to talk about this in a little bit more di tale. Is Leila Ireland she's joining us live from our Dallas Texas affiliate W. After a a Leila is herself a tree and woman an activist and advocate and I should mention at retired army better in. After thirteen years serving as a combat medic in the army Leila thank you so much for your service and thank you for joining us today. Thank you for having. I have to ask you right off the back you are a better and you are transamerican. How did you. What did you think when you first heard the announcement this morning. You know I think I woke to the news and it was very interesting. I economic bonus buzzing because I was having family members math that's me and asked me what it was gonna do this weekend. But the news has very disheartening. Having it to you having knowing that. The work that we've done in the last year and a half of the last year's. Is being put to question now financing that we are not capable of serving in any capacity said it's big it's theory it's very disheartening teasing here. I'm meant to have to it's a tough how to swallow but on the flip side of that understanding that there's so much more work to do and we have to continue to push forward. Let's talk about the argument that the president laid it out this morning and again details are still coming out about exactly how. This would be implemented and what it would mean let's take a look at the president's tweets from this morning he said he consulted with. Generals and military experts and that transgender individuals are no longer allowed to serve in any capacity. He cited though. That tremendous medical costs and did this eruption those are his words that transgender. In the military would entail does that make sense to you those two reasons tremendous medical costs and disruption in the military. You know I'm hey I would I would definitely disagree with active Rand Corp. and new England journal of medicine. You know be looked into this and they found the cost was not inning there was an expensive it was not it was just negligible. That the military in the government spend much more money online name. Treating acne or even Viagra. So it's not disruptive at all and leave myself included and alongside other. Advocates and an in service members have shatter that glass ceiling showing that we are capable of doing the job if not better than her counterparts so. I'm actually getting his information from but here we are and Perkins for them that we're still here and we're not going anywhere. In my life ask you because your your husband is also transgender he's active duty. Right now so this is really impacting you in your family in in a very real way. It became a bit out of the Blue Hill. I mean I think we've got this'll tweet we can bring up now this is a president. Cool as early as over a year ago and of Wellington the last few months was talking about being a strong advocate for. The LG BTQ community and he said that he would be better and and then other candidates that that he wolf fight for them. While eight innings in his opponent than Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and police. Did this come out of the blue for you did you think that anything like this might happen. You know and I'm Jane app but Siewert from 2000 province are now an even before that that the following the the same templates that are our predecessors have. Have have laid out for us this isn't a surprise. But we didn't expect it to come so brash and so quickly. Especially when they you know the July 1 deadline for allowing trans people to listen to the military being pushed back to January. So this is something that we expected but we I don't think we were ready for were the impact that it would happen. Logan NI Wi yet. We. Now have to worry about if this does become an issue and that you know this new rule is implemented. Would agree unity and house sites we have to prepare for our our private lives and what happens after that I. The military. We have to maintain. The positive. You know thoughts and and and make sure that we keep pushing for it like it's that I'm an answering that with our with the community and other people there experiencing things. Well help us understand a little bit because you you've served. For thirteen years in the army. But it wasn't until last year that then secretary defended ash Carter actually put into a place that allow it transgender Americans too openly serve. In the military so what was it like for you to be serving before that. You know in my years of service act I can serve both under pipes are both under the AM. Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. And when I watched that happen the repeal happen announces served under the remnants of Don't Ask Don't Tell I'm for tension service members. It's it's. Watching it. Secretary of defense asked Carter you know make that announcement. Was both so how we are so happy but at the same time I was not that I was no longer in service to watch that happen. There's very happy for my husband to experience that in and to continue in his career. And like mania are our friends who are expands and in in the military this was a tape. Good message for them and gave him that hope that OK things can change it came it will get better. And we just have to continue to push forward and you know I have found. Tell me a little bit about your time in service that because I think this is something a lot of people. Don't know about for a lot of people who aren't openly serving as transit don't understand what it made you like to serve in the US military. As transgender you in your husband share your experience very intimately in the documentary project as well. Help us understand a little bit about what it was like to stare. You know in in twenty winner when our video that was produced by the New York Times was released in a summer and fifteen. We did it basically because we knew that in order to move forward we had their house to be someone who's going to sacrifice what they have. I'm and that's with anything in life and so when we shared her story we. How did not expect that the impact that it would had. But it did and it has been creating. I T no understanding that we still served under. This rule where attention to people aren't allowed to serve openly it wasn't typical but. I think by answering your story we opened those stores in me it's when provoked this conversations with. Not just with our units and with the military but we keep opts out of that and that's a major that had a meeting in Billings. On it making this the decision to allow detention of people to serve openly. That opt doc you know for me at times it features the contrast in our situation both local and high. I'm how his unit was very supportive and mine wasn't so much I'm but it also. Tops on the it. They're relate ability factor with family members and what it feels like to come home from a deployment or to be waiting for that spouse to come home from a deployment. In an interest in just being there so there's a lot tip there's a lot of lenses to look from at. When you're watching that to opt out but that was our whole purpose of that and sharing her story and has been. The most humbling experience that we could. Could have ever done. Let me let me ask you this now there's been an onslaught. As detractors. A criticism. On social media and elsewhere even from Republicans. In response to the president's announcement this morning but there's been some supporters to I want to ask you about one in particular. Who is a congresswoman from Missouri. Who basically said she's pleased by president trams announcement and it she also said that military service is a privilege. Not a right what do you make of that state. So the military's an all volunteered. Four X. It is it is a right I don't think it's a privilege it is the right. Because we you have people. And I've been done I've done this in many speaking offense where I've asked how many people in the room. You know ever thought there was. Ever serve and a lot of them never and majority of them never roasting pan and why is because they don't want to but you have these people these able and willing people out. Could Americans I want to serve this great country that is already creek. Why would you want to stop them from getting. You know so that it's not I wouldn't say that it's a privilege. But it it really is a right that we we we can be. And the let me ask you what you're worried about now obviously you're on the activism side you're comfortable going out your talking to people like you like to see change what you like to see happen. Logue and your husband as he mentioned is still active duty he is still serving. As this announcement is being processed forty worried about. From a personal perspective that. The only wary that they have this that we are. Not going to be respected. As actual people. Jobs coming go. In that that's just how it is. Some people stand Oxford for their entire lives some people down. But what we what we're only asking for is the dignity and respect as humans means. Because where we're no different from the next person who believes or cries for months. He we all do the same so. Just having that respect as a person you know that. We. It's I don't know analysts are put it we just we just need to be seen as ourselves. And be respected. Are you worried that the thousands. Of Americans. Who are currently serving openly. As strands. Could face some backlash or some criticism because they they felt comfortable being open. About who they were after the announcement last year are even worried about what the currently serving community could face. I mean I've I'm actually not as a leader in the trance military community. And the membership director a trance nonprofit turns military group. And so listening to our members is at the forefront for me. But hearing their concerns and listen to how they unit teens and a command teams in the leadership is reacting to the news. It's overwhelmingly positive and that's soul comforting especially with what's happening now and what's being sad and so. I think it's important to highlight that there are good leaders out there that are making sure that they're fighting for. The right for good soldiers and her troops to continue to do their job in the capacity of them being there authentic south. And Riley laughed and I've read to use them at the statement that people supporting the president's announcement you keeping a smile on your feet now. They have to be difficult. For you about this it's at the end of your country basically saying that you are not. Able to serve in the military after he or thirteen years answer. You know my father in law's that it during the during the op dock that. The these people are that your average staying everyday Americans that are fighting for the same liberties and freedoms that you have. And so even if that means refining for the same liberty and freedoms for someone. You know great significance in our community. To go to Twitter and take that are you know are uneducated opinions. I smile because we have to and we have to make sure that. We encourage our members our service members were trance and where that they are not alone in this fight that we are doing our best. And this is not going to be Ian and we'll keep going and looking forward. Delaware can you direct people who want to learn more about what they can do its fourth tense military community where today ago. And you can net check our website at its www. Sparta pride dot Ford or you can at. Check out and the American military partner association as while other OG&E T organizations are putting out their statements and that listing. Resources where they can go into ten help and and give assistance to this cause. It's very important that you know with the people at that he said they would stand by us through this fall. Really step up and step out and they and they show up to help us. Because. Words are just words but actions speak louder than that though. Mile island. Thank you so much for your time. Thank -- for having me. And thanks to all of you for watching as well remember you can always good abcnews.com anytime for continuing coverage of that story. And many others for now I mom and Abbas the accuracy.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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