So, Obama said trans people can serve. Trump’s just said nope, they can’t. At which point we get this:
A California congressman fired back at President Donald Trump’s Twitter announcement barring transgendered service members, saying the decision will affect thousands of people.
Hmm, well, no, not really. Because we’re using different definitions here.
Lieu spokesman Jack d’Annabale said the congressman got his estimate from a May 2014 brief by researchers at UCLA’s Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy.
They used responses to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, sent to respondents by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality. The definition of transgender included “those whose gender identity or expression differs from those traditionally associated with their assigned sex at birth,” according to the study.
That’s one possible definition of trans. How people view themselves inside their heads.
Another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in September 2015 used data from the UCLA brief and other sources to determine that 12,800 service member would be eligible for transgender health care. The study suggested of those, 188 would use benefits for transition services, at a cost of $4.2 million to $5.6 million.
That’s another possible definition, how many people go under the knife. Neither definition is actually the correct one, with the emphasis on the there. Either definition is useful at times. The trick is to work out which time is useful in what circumstances. No, I don’t know the answer for the military either. But my own prejudices would lead me to the idea that the first definition isn’t the relevant one while the second could be.
My actual point here is the trivial one that we’ve always got to examine the composition of any statistic which is thrown at us. Thousands you say? OK, how are you defining what you’re claiming thousands of? As with that perennial around here, poverty? Yes, but what is it that you mean by poverty? Having to cut back on the tabs in order to be able to afford beer? OK, sure, that’s a form of poverty but are you sure you want to go to the barricades for that one? In the same manner you want to over whether without tabs or beer, or pleasures, someone can get 2,000 calories a day?