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MTV Confirms Transgender Military Members Will Attend VMAs

Military persona
Military persona Chongkon Yangpaiboon / Getty Images

MTV has invited active duty transgender military members to the 2017 Video Music Awards amid President Donald Trumps proposed ban on their service, CNN reports.

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Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Paul Haverstick confirmed the news to CNN on Wednesday, August 23. “MTV has requested service member participation for this year’s VMAs,” he said. “At this time the Department of Defense is reviewing the parameters of the request.”

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It was initially thought that the request might not be possible since active duty military members are usually restricted from participating in high-profile public events, especially political ones. But an MTV spokesperson confirmed on Saturday, August 26, that transgender military service members will be attending the award show and walking the red carpet at the VMAs.

The move comes a month after Trump, 71, announced that transgender people will no longer be allowed to serve in the military in a series of tweets on July 26. “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” the president tweeted. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”

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The announcement was met with widespread criticism by celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox, Lena Dunham, Demi Lovato, James Corden and Seth Rogen.

According to Reuters, the White House is expected to send a memo to the Pentagon shortly about how the ban will go into effect. It gives Defense Secretary Jim Mattis six months to fully implement the plan.

MTV’s 2017 Video Music Awards airs on MTV Sunday, August 27, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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