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When a conservative Christian organization asked Americans whether they want their tax money going to billions of dollars in fighter jets or “transgender surgeries,” LGBTQ Americans had the last laugh.
On Thursday morning, the Family Research Council’s legislative affiliate FRC Action announced an ad running in New York’s 23rd Congressional District, asking New Yorkers, “Which one do you want our military to be spending your tax dollars on–transgender surgeries or equipment?” A tweet for the ad compares an F-35 fighter jet to Chelsea Manning, asking readers to call Republican Congressman Tom Reed and tell him their views on the issue.
The ad was quickly criticized by LGBTQ activists and allies on Twitter, questioning the comparison and the ad’s larger message. Some posters argued that healthcare coverage is a necessary right for service members, and that transgender medical care should most certainly be covered as a basic need.
Shit, it's been covered already but I am all in favor of providing necessary medical care to our troops.— Jennifer Wolff (@JennyWebtoes) July 20, 2017
How is this a question?
Life affirming medical care for soldiers.— Blocked by Blanchard (@XYcyberjulie) July 20, 2017
We're already good at killing masses of people.
i would prefer healthcare over instruments of murder, please. hell i'd prefer they throw that money out rather than build murder machines— girth brooks (@adequateGF) July 20, 2017
I'd rather support our veterans getting medical care than support massive corporations selling junk aircraft.— Talia @ Pax West (@taliasturm) July 20, 2017
A 2015 research study revealed that healthcare costs for transgender troops would actually be relatively low, costing approximately $5.6 million a year to provide trans-related care to service members. In comparison, Lockheed Martin previously agreed to sell 90 brand new F-35 fighter jets to the United States for $8.5 billion, making each F-35 cost over $94 million to purchase.
With that math, many criticized the aircrafts, calling them a “huge waste of money” and “a multi-trillion dollar embarrassment.”
Health $200— nyebbies (@nyebbies) July 20, 2017
someone please help me budget this., my nation is dying
Thinking all of the possible transgender surgeries of all time would still be less than the clusterfuck known as the F-35— (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻ (@shonan_naminori) July 20, 2017
Chelsea is a courageous hero who exposed heinous actions perpetrated with our tax dollars & the F35 is a multi-trillion dollar embarrassment— AJ Basso (@AJBasso247) July 20, 2017
But most of all, many expressed support for Chelsea Manning, declaring her a hero. They felt the military should be focused on recruiting more people like Manning, criticizing FRC Action for attacking Manning.
We want more good, honest people like Chelsea! Thanks for asking— Reed Brice (@thatdangdingus) July 20, 2017
Yes the military needs to start a program to produce soldiers as good as Chelsea.— Lukretius (@TheWensey) July 20, 2017
Speaking as a non-American, your global image would be improved if you had a few more Chelsea Mannings and stopped killing people for a bit.— Dan Miles (@DanRMiles) July 20, 2017
FRC Action serves as a lobbying PAC for the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian anti-LGBTQ organization. The Family Research Council has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which argues that the FRC “makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science.”
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.