Amongst the stars and celebrities on the red carpet at Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards were six special guests invited by MTV itself. Army captain Jennifer Pearce, Navy sailor Akira Wyatt, Army veteran Laila Ireland, Airforce airman Sterling Crutcher, Air Force sergeant Logan Ireland and former Navy lieutenant commander Brynn Tannehill — who all identify as transgender — attended the red carpet ceremonies as well.

In a statement on the decision, MTV president Chris McCarthy said "Any patriot who is putting their own life at risk to fight for our freedom and stand for equality is a hero at MTV, and to young people everywhere."

VMA's red carpet correspondent Gabby Wilson interviewed the service members about President Donald Trump's new ban on transgender people serving in the military, set to be put into action in the following weeks. When asked what allies can do to help support trans service members, Pearce said that it was important to not think of trans military members as a group, but of individuals whose lives would be drastically affected by the new ban and encouraged them to look at the GLAAD, and to learn individual stories.

Pearce also offered words of encouragement and defense to any trans children who hope to serve in the armed forces.

"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," Pearce said.

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