(WB) Transgender military service members sent a message to President Donald Trump when they walked the VMA red carpet on Sunday.
Servicemembers Logan Ireland, Jennifer Peace, Sterling James Crutcher and Akira Wyatt were joined by veterans Laila Ireland and Brynn Tannehill, GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis and leaders of LGBT service members and veterans group, SPARTA.
“Any patriot who is putting their own life at risk to fight for our freedom and stand for equality is a hero at MTV, and to young people everywhere,” MTV president Chris McCarthy said in a statement to Billboard before the event.
Some members wore T-shirts with their military positions emblazoned on the front while Tannehill sported her full uniform.
Peace addressed the transgender military ban, which Trump directed the Department of Defense to enforce in a memo sent on Friday.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, our nation is only safe if we have the best and brightest in our country serving in the military. There was a time when blacks couldn’t serve, women couldn’t serve, where gays and lesbians couldn’t serve, and there was a time when trans people couldn’t serve,” Peace said on the red carpet. “But today the armed forces are open to everyone regardless of your race, gender, religion, or anything else. If you’re willing to serve our country and you’re among the most qualified in the nation, you should be welcome in the United States armed forces just like everyone else.”
— Mariah Cooper, Washington Blade courtesy of the National LGBTQ Media Association.