Student loses university scholarship because of Trump's transgender military ban

Map Pesqueira / GoFundMe

A transgender student whose only ever dream was to join the military has lost his military scholarship after Trump's transgender military ban came into effect last week.

Map Pesqueira, 19, from San Antonio, Texas, won a three-year Reserve Officers' Training Corps scholarship to fund his future studies in his senior year of high school, to attend the University of Texas in Austin to study film, and is a freshman there.

However, his dreams of pursuing a degree in Radio, TV and Film before then going on to join the army were dashed when his scholarship was revoked by the US Department of Defence.

His family cannot afford to pay the tuition without the scholarship, he said, so he will either have to withdraw his application or raise the funds via a GoFundMe page.

In an emotional post on the page, he describes his inspiration for joining the army as the 'yearning to join an elite team' and 'be involved with something incredibly larger than myself'.

He added:

Since I was a kid, one of my biggest dreams was to pursue a career in the Army to serve my country.

While growing up in a military city, my dad often took me to the Fort Sam Houston Army Base for public events and I was always captivated by the uniforms the servicepeople wore, knowing that they belonged to an elite team rooted in pride and unity that protects our country.

That was my inspiration for wanting to be a part of the military; that it wasn't about the individual, it's about being involved in something incredibly larger than myself

Pesqueira, who started medically transitioning in 2018, added:

Because I have started medically transitioning, my scholarship is now void.

I chose to attend UT Austin because I knew I would be able to afford it with my scholarship and it is one of the top 10 film schools in the country.

Filmmaking has always been a deep passion I've held close to my heart and intend to continue to pursue it even if I am still not able to join the military after college.

I have won film festival awards and graduated from an accelerated fine arts high school where I heavily focused on cinematic arts. It is the way I can feel most comfortable expressing my emotions, identity, and stories I have written throughout my life.

I have continued to make strides while in college and have recently been appointed as the Vice President of my dorm's Residence Hall Council, and am actively involved with numerous social organizations, all while balancing this with my rigorous academics and involvement with ROTC.

Since my scholarship is now invalid, I can no longer afford to attend without financial assistance.

Pesquiera is asking for money so that he can continue with his degree, and the University of Texas has said it is powerless against the federal law changes.

His story emerged after the US Naval Academy announced it was placing a ban on transgender students starting with the 2020 school year, reports the Daily Mail.

The new regulations prohibit service members who appear transgender or act transgender. In addition, it also blocks people from enlisting into the military if they have transitioned from their 'biological sex' to another gender, or are openly trans.

The move has been widely condemned by LGBT groups, as well as by the American Medical Association, who issued a statement regards the legislation:

The only thing deficient is any medical science behind this decision.

The AMA has said repeatedly that there is no medically valid reason — including a diagnosis of gender dysphoria — to exclude transgender individuals from military service.

Transgender service members should, as is the case with all personnel, receive the medical care they need.

There is a global medical consensus about the efficacy of transgender health care, including treatment for gender dysphoria.

HT VT.co

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