A trans college student says that he lost his military scholarship because of the Trump administration’s new policy restricting trans people from military service.
Map Pesqueira, a 19-year-old first year at University of Texas at Austin, told The Daily Texan that he lost financial aid scholarship through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.
“Since I’ve already had top surgery, hormone replacement therapy, gender marker, and [a] name change, I can’t go in under this policy,” said the student. “I’d automatically be discriminated. I really do see [Trump’s policy] as a waste of resources, money, time, and personnel. It’s made figuring out my future education so much harder.”
He elaborated on the situation in a follow-up interview with The Dallas Morning News, explaining that he was informed his three-year scholarship, which would begin his sophomore year, was no longer valid.
"I was told that my scholarship is void," he said. “ROTC cadets who are relying on a[n] ROTC scholarship to fund their education [are affected by this policy].”
Pesqueira’s case highlights an under-discussed aspect of the Pentagon’s recently imposed restrictions on trans people’s military service, which prohibits trans people who have transitioned or plan to transition from enlisting. Not only are the vast majority of trans people literally banned from participating in the armed forces, but trans people’s educational options and healthcare access are impacted, as well. The Air Force Academy has announced that it will no longer accept trans students, per The Hill, and Jezebel reported earlier this week the Naval Academy will no longer accepting trans students.
Pesqueira created a GoFundMe the night he lost his scholarship to help pay for his sophomore year of education with a goal of $27,000. It has since raised $22,321 upon time of publication.