“Imagine it’s a Monday morning. You arrive at your desk, check emails, and begin the weekly routine.
Yet, today your boss announces he has decided he will do a health and welfare visit to each employee’s home. This is the reality of life in the U.S. Military. The privacy- boundaries between your personal life and work life - doesn’t exist.
I began to panic.
When you’re gay and serving, moments like these threaten your entire existence and all that you form your identity around – could come crumbling down.
For so long we have been trained to serve in silence, unable to discuss our personal lives. Unable to share those we love with the world or bring our partners to unit functions.
The culture Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell created can’t be undone in a day or by the stroke of a pen. It takes times.
The experiences of LGBTQ service members and veterans remain largely unknown - hidden behind a dark shroud of the notorious Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Even today, more than six years after the repeal, military culture and society as a whole are far from accepting our community. I realize that I know so little about my fellow LGBTQ soldiers and fear still lingers because it has been ingrained that to remain safe, I had to keep a part of myself hidden.
Regardless of my anxiety, I knew it was time to tell the story of being gay and serving in the military. Is there anyone better to tell the story than those who are living it?"
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