From the January 22 edition of MSNBC Live with Katy Tur:
SHANE ORTEGA (RETIRED ARMY STAFF SERGEANT): Our Supreme Court had been stacked by the Trump administration. But besides that, this is a reflection of the entirety of our society. This incapacity to communicate with other people and not actually know our own historic history, those fundamental tenants of where our Constitution come from, who is unequivocally considered human, who is not. I encourage Americans to go out, read the documents of discovery, which impact the way that our country functions, and read things about the the wampum, which is the Constitution. The Constitution is based on an indigenous perspective of democracy. And that democracy had space for trans people and had space for LGBT people, and until we as a society start really having these deep conversations, and looking at ourselves, and thinking about where these ideas come from, we're going to keep having this infighting and this devaluation of other human beings.
KATY TUR (HOST): Why do you think the president made it an issue again?
ORTEGA: You know, it really inflames his base to sort of see progressive movements, right? I'm going to use that term, “sort of,” leisurely, not concretely. It really inflames his base. They get angry about things that are considered equity for other people. It attacks, like I said, those fundamental issues of how our country is built. If we don't understand our historic implications of our culture, if we don't understand the documents of discovery, if we don't understand manifest destiny, we don't understand the patriarchy. And that patriarchy impacts how we move as people, within our military systems, how we interact with each other, the culture exchanges that we have. And if we can't come to the table open-minded to have these really tough conversations, we're going to keep repeating this cycle of dehumanization. So for Donald Trumps in the world, this challenges their power base.
Correction (1/24/19): This piece originally described Ortega as the “first openly trans soldier,” as MSNBC introduced him. He appears to be the first since Don't Ask, Don't Tell was instated.