Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gay (and Lesbian) in the US military!

As many of you know, the devastating policy that excluded gays and lesbians from serving in the US military for decades ends today. The so-called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is now officially dead. This is a huge day for me!

I served in the US Navy from 1984 - 1991 with reserve time going through 1994. I am very familiar with the policy meant to keep gays and lesbians from serving.

I remember the investigations and the harassment.

I remember the suicides. The fear that one had been "found out".

I remember only wanting to go out with other military people who were gay so not to have to worry about being exposed by someone not in the military.

I remember the humiliating courts martial and Captain's Masts.

I remember constantly having to change (and remember) pronouns.

I remember walking by a gay bar overseas and not even daring to look in.

I remember the violence by word and by fist. I remember going one hundred plus miles to go out to a gay bar so my license plate wouldn't be written down.

I remember the pure bigotry and the hate. "You fucking faggot!"

I remember knowing in my heart that one day this would end. That it would just have to end.

It's gotten a little easier for some since I got out. I think it all depended on your command. But now it's a bit easier for many, and at least, even if one wants to stay closeted, they are safe with their job if they are "found out".

The bigotry will take a lot longer to go away, yet this is still a HUGE deal. Inside I am totally stoked. Outside I know the fight for equality is not over.

Will you celebrate with me?


  1. Can't stand the thought of anyone being mean to you, Dan! Thank you for serving our country though.

  2. It *is* a huge deal! I'm so glad its over. I've never commented before, but I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your sacrifices for our country. I feel like I should say something more profound, but that's really what it comes down to. Thank you- for your service, for your voice. <3

  3. I am so glad that DADT is finally history! What a shameful discrimination towards the men and women who are willing and able to serve our country just as well as any heterosexual person! I will toast to all my gay friends in spirit today and celebrate with them!

  4. This is a huge deal. I remember people making fun of Clinton, for the don't ask don't tell, like it wasn't enough or it was "too much". But I think he kind of broke the ice and at least made it an issue. I can't believe it's taken this long, but then it's the military! But WOW. Think it is pretty significant!