Transgender military members attend the MTV VMAs

President of GLAAD Sarah Kate Ellis, center, and transgender military members attend the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at the Forum on Aug. 27, 2017, in Inglewood, Calif. (Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for MTV)

MTV is sending a message to Donald Trump.

Two days after President Trump signed a directive reinstating a ban on transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military, the network invited a group of transgender military men and women to the Video Music Awards.

Airman Sterling James Crutcher, Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland, Army Capt. Jennifer Peace, Navy corpsman Akira Wyatt, and veterans Laila Ireland and Brynn Tannehill all walked the carpet on Sunday afternoon. The president and CEO of GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis, attended as well.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, our nation is only safe if we have the best and brightest in our country serving in the military,” Peace said on the carpet, according to People. “There was a time when blacks couldn’t serve, women couldn’t serve, where gays and lesbians couldn’t serve, and there was a time when trans people couldn’t serve.”

She continued, “But today the armed forces are open to everyone regardless of your race, gender, religion, or anything else. If you’re willing to serve our country and you’re among the most qualified in the nation, you should be welcome in the United States armed forces just like everyone else.”

The president of MTV, Chris McCarthy, announced the network’s invitation on Thursday.

“MTV has invited transgender members of the U.S. armed forces to the 2017 Video Music Awards, and we would be honored if they could attend,” he said in a statement. “Any patriot who is putting their own life at risk to fight for our freedom and stands for equality is a hero at MTV, and to young people everywhere.”

The request had to be approved by the Department of Defense, as there are restrictions around active-duty military members participating in high-profile events, per CNN.

On Friday, Trump signed a memorandum barring the military from accepting transgender men and women as recruits. It also halts the government from funding sex-reassignment surgeries for active personnel unless the process is already underway.

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