KC asks Paula what message she wishes to convey through the design.
“That today, our military, our Navy, is stronger and better because of increasing our diversity and inclusion in the force,” she states referring to LGBT servicemembers, among others.
It wasn’t until June 30, 2016, that the U.S. military lifted the ban that prohibited transgender personnel from openly serving. Just over a year later, President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum reinstating the ban, with multiple military leaders disagreeing with his order. A couple of months later on October 30, 2017, a federal judge temporarily blocked the White House’s policy of reinstating the ban. Then, on November 21, 2017, a second federal judge blocked the administration’s order and beginning January 1, 2018, transgender individuals could enlist in the military again.
Yep, it was as confusing as it all sounds. The alternating notions of whether transgender servicemembers could or couldn’t serve in the military has resulted in a communicative mess. Ultimately, it’s a reflection of our turbulent political environment.
“Progressives like to see this as a potential civil rights movement,” Paula expresses. “But we’re not talking about transgender people. We’re talking about soldiers, sailors, that happen to be transgender or gay and never screw up the priority that the mission always comes first. I want to find a way for the imagery to include that LGBT people are Veterans because most people if you ask them to describe a Veteran, they describe a white male who is cisgender, straight, and predominantly Christian. That’s what everybody thinks of as a Veteran. To find a subtle way of including in there to say, oh yeah, those people are Veterans too, that would be great.”