Texas student says he lost his ROTC scholarship because of transgender ban

Elizabeth Howe
April 17, 2019 - 12:40 pm

Photo courtesy of DVIDS

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A student from the University of Texas at Austin says he lost his three-year Army ROTC scholarship because of the recent ban on transgender personnel in the military. Now, Map Pesqueira is unsure of how he will pay for the rest of his education. 

As a transgender man, Pesqueira became ineligible for military service last Friday when the Trump administration's new transgender policy went into effect. The new policy on transgender personnel in the military directs all transgender personnel to be removed from military service if they do not wish to serve under their biological sex.

“Since I’ve already had top surgery, hormone replacement therapy, gender marker, and a name change, I can’t go in under this policy,” Pesqueira told The Daily Texan.

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The Department of Defense terminated Pesqueira's scholarship accordingly.

Pesqueira, along with personnel from the ROTC unit, made attempts to have the student grandfathered in under the previous policy which says anyone serving or under contract to enter the military who was diagnosed with gender dysphoria before April 12, 2019 may still enter the military. 

“Unfortunately, this policy is so new, waivers (and) exceptions haven’t been determined,” Pesqueira said. 

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Pesqueira has since started a GoFundMe page to try and raise the funds needed to continue his education. The campaign has currently raised roughly $8,400 towards his $20,000 goal. 

“My life has definitely taken a negative turn because of this,” Pesqueira said. “I’m trying to put it back on a clear track, but that may or may not happen."

Pesqueira also said he felt it was important to share his story as there are "ROTC cadets who are relying on an ROTC scholarship to fund their education."

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