Transgender Ban, Like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Imposes Financial Burden on ROTC Students

by Palm Center | June 20, 2019

Palm wrote about the University of Texas ROTC cadet, Map Pesqueira, who lost a scholarship when the transgender ban went into effect, here, here, and here.

Recently Vox featured an interesting profile of a former ROTC cadet who lost a scholarship in 1992 because of the gay ban and how the financial impact continues today.

In part it’s a common story of student loans: young people without means getting in over their heads and dropping out, and repayment obligations that snowball. But most students don’t have to navigate a system in which the spiral starts solely because they are gay or transgender. This student, now 45 years old, lost a ROTC scholarship because of the gay ban. He was pressured to replace it with loans on the spot (at a very expensive Catholic school), but then encouraged to drop out by university leadership, making the loans come due immediately.

As dysfunctional as the student loan system has come to be in general, this story is a reminder that ROTC students affected by military bans can face an especially weaponized version of that loan system.