Transgender cadet loses college scholarship because of Trump military ban

student attending the University of Texas at Austin on a 3-year Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship may have to withdraw and transfer to a community college after being disqualified from military service — because he is a transgender man.

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As Austin’s KVUE reports, UT freshman Map Pesqueira will lose out on the scholarship because of the newly instituted ban on transgender people and those with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria from serving in the U.S. military. Without those funds, Pesqueira cannot afford to pay full tuition, and is now resorting to GoFundMe to help support his studies. So far, more than $7,000 of its $20,000 goal has been raised.

“Because I have started medically transitioning, my scholarship is now void,” the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet explained on GoFundMe.

Learn more about transgender members of the military: 

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Transgender members of the military

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(Tech. Sgt. Emerson Marcus/Nevada Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs/Handout via REUTERS)

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Transgender former US Air Force member Vanessa Sheridan poses for a photo after talking with reporters in Chicago, Illinois on July 26, 2017. Trump announced that transgender people may not serve 'in any capacity' in the US military, citing the 'tremendous medical costs and disruption' their presence would cause.

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Former US Army Colonel and transgender Sheri Swokowski carries her uniform July 27, 2017 in DeForest, Wisconsin, the day following US President Donald Trumps announcing of a ban on transgender military members.

(DEREK R. HENKLE/AFP/Getty Images)

Former US Army Colonel and transgender Sheri Swokowski raises the American flag at her home on July 27, 2017 in DeForest, Wisconsin, the day following US President Donald Trumps announcing of a ban on transgender military members.

(DEREK R. HENKLE/AFP/Getty Images)

Transgender former US Air Force member Vanessa Sheridan poses for a photo after talking with reporters in Chicago, Illinois on July 26, 2017. Trump announced that transgender people may not serve 'in any capacity' in the US military, citing the 'tremendous medical costs and disruption' their presence would cause.

(DEREK R. HENKLE/AFP/Getty Images)

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Hayden Brown with his girlfriend Mia Scott at home on July 28, 2017 in Altoona, Pennsylvania. The transgender solider says he was told, days after President Trump banning transgender people from the military, that he must carry out the rest of his military career as a woman if he wants to keep his job. Hayden Brown says that just days after Donald Trump tweeted he was to ban all transgender people from the military, he received a call from his unit telling him he must revert back to female to continue his service. The 23-year-old from Pennsylvania has been in the armed forces for four and a half years, initially identifying as a woman.

(Ruaridh Connellan/Barcroft Ima/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Collect image of Hayden Brown with his military comrades at the presidential inauguration briefing at the Washington Redskins stadium on January 20, 2017 in Washington DC. A TRANSGENDER solider says he was told, days after President Trump banning transgender people from the military, that he must carry out the rest of his military career as a woman if he wants to keep his job. Hayden Brown says that just days after Donald Trump tweeted he was to ban all transgender people from the military, he received a call from his unit telling him he must revert back to female to continue his service. The 23-year-old from Pennsylvania has been in the armed forces for four and a half years, initially identifying as a woman.

(Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Hayden Brown with his girlfriend Mia Scott at home on July 28, 2017 in Altoona, Pennsylvania. The transgender solider says he was told, days after President Trump banning transgender people from the military, that he must carry out the rest of his military career as a woman if he wants to keep his job. Hayden Brown says that just days after Donald Trump tweeted he was to ban all transgender people from the military, he received a call from his unit telling him he must revert back to female to continue his service. The 23-year-old from Pennsylvania has been in the armed forces for four and a half years, initially identifying as a woman.

(Ruaridh Connellan/Barcroft Ima/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

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(Photo by Jason Andrew for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

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Pesqueira received the scholarship, which would go into effect at the start of his sophomore year at UT, as a senior in high school. He started transitioning in 2018, and has been on hormone replacement therapy for the last 15 months, as well as legally changing his name and gender marker and recently undergoing top surgery. But in January 2019 the Supreme Court determined that the Department of Defense’s trans ban could take place, putting his scholarship at risk.

"It was just a happy medium that I was able to go to school and also pursue a military career," Pesqueira, who is double-majoring in American Studies and Film/Radio/TV, told KVUE. "I knew that I wouldn't have to bury my identity to serve my country."

He is unable to be “grandfathered” in to save the scholarship, and efforts by his professor of military science to help were unsuccessful.

He is now counting on donations to keep his dream of continuing his studies at UT for at least one more year alive.

“Since my scholarship is now invalid, I can no longer afford to attend without financial assistance,” he wrote on GoFUndMe. “I received little financial aid from the university despite having a single mother with a low income and struggled to pay my own way through my first year. Until now, I remained under the impression that my scholarship would take care of my remaining three years, but that is no longer the case.

“I am requesting assistance to help fund my second year through this GoFundMe for my steep tuition and room and board. Without help, I will have to return back home to San Antonio, Texas, where there is no guarantee of the future of my education.”

UT Austin issued a statement to KVUE outlining other options for the cadet, but declined to comment directly on his lost scholarship.

"We want all of our students to be successful at UT Austin and we are committed to helping them make this a reality,” it reads. “Due to federal privacy law, the university does not comment on the cases of individual students. Because every student situation is unique, we offer many different avenues of assistance for students who undergo sudden changes that might affect their access to a UT education. These resources include our Student Emergency Services office and the Graduation Help Desk, which both work closely with the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Our staff are experienced in these situations and stand ready to help students navigate the resources they need to complete their education."

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