I always knew I wanted to be in the Army. Ever since I was a kid. It was my dream. And when my chance came to leave I jumped on it. One problem. I was GAY. But I wasn’t going to let that hold me back from doing what I always wanted to do…serve my country. Serve with Honor. My friends were all like but your gay and if they find out they will kick you out. I was like they won’t find out and if they do, they do.
But, it also means they would have to come up with proof before they could do anything to me. So I left, went onto training and yes some found out but they didn’t say anything. And then I got to my unit in Germany. That’s where the problem’s started. A drunk NCO decided he wanted to sleep with the new soldier. Well that wasn’t going to happen. I pushed him off of me and said a few words and left it at that. But, then I had to work with him guarding shipment at a port in Belgium.
Late that night when we was on duty he came up to me and made a rude comment about me being gay and if I don’t sleep with him he will tell. I just rolled my eyes and walked away. When we got back I told my roommate about it. She went and told higher command. They came and asked me about it and I told them what had happened. The next day the NCO was escorted to the Captain’s office and so was I. The story was told again.
I Give A Damn because I am a gay ex-soldier, who is a soon to be Army-husband…but my fiance can’t marry me because of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
When I was young, I was kicked out my house for being gay and I was a homeless youth with nowhere to go…my fiance left his home to help me find a home. We struggled and we were forced to join the Army, because life is hard…
As I lived in the Army…I was tormented constantly and bullied and my fiance thought I couldn’t handle it, so he made me leave. Now he’s a soldier, struggling his whole career to support me and put a roof over my head…we are now engaged, but we need to live together. I’m constantly worried and lonely and afraid for him. I get nightmares almost everyday and I can’t sleep.
To us, we feel like we are married…but in reality…society won’t let us. I’m scared. Everything in America, which is supposedly a free country, isn’t truly free. In Europe, their gay soldiers are allowed to get married. They keep all their benefits. I’m scared. We must constantly fight for our rights, even if we get married, I still have to worry about social security because if my husband dies who will support me, who will help me survive.
We are a monogamous couple and I have never had sex with any other male or female ever. If I lose him I don’t think I will ever again find someone else. I feel like if we don’t do something now, our struggles will be for nothing…all these years we sacrificed will be for nothing.
I GIVE A DAMN, because I was separated from the US Navy in September 2006.
Granted I was more fortunate than others whom have been separated from the US Armed Forces. My story begins in October of 2005, two months after completing boot camp. I was fighting the constant self battle of my sexual identity. I felt like I had no one to talk to – depression started setting in hard. When suicidal idealizations began to set in I got scared, because I had been down that same path 4 years prior, which ended in taking five 500mg pills of Vicodin and hoped never to wake back up. So, I went to my superior to tell them of my thoughts, I was sent to the psych ward where I was put on anti-depressants and had to see a councilor twice a week. I did this every week for the next 5 weeks.
In November of ‘05, I went home for the first time since joining the Navy, which was a blessing from God! While at home, I came out to all my closest friends, and really admitted that I was gay to myself for the first time! I was still nervous about coming out to my family because my step-dad had told me once if he ever found out I was gay he would ban me from seeing my younger siblings. My confidence as a gay man began to grow with the love and support from my friends. Leave had ended and I was on my way back to Virginia Beach.
Here is more information on the nationwide injunction ordered today by U.S. District Judge Virgina A. Phillips that suspends enforcement of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”:
According to MSNBC.com:
“The Justice Department has 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say the government is under no legal obligation to do so and they could let Phillips’ ruling stand.
“The federal government is reviewing the ruling and has no immediate comment, said Tracy Schmaler, spokesman for the Justice Department.”
Statement by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) Legal Director Aaron Tax:
“We applaud Judge Phillips for putting an immediate stop to all investigations and discharges under this unconstitutional law. As explained by the judge, this order applies across the military. This order bars the Department of Defense from enforcing or applying the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law against any person under its command. We have clients under investigation and facing discharge right now. We’ll be monitoring each case over the coming days. This order will likely be appealed by the Justice Department and brought to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit where her decision may well be reversed. The law still has a chance of being repealed in the lame duck session of Congress. Service members must proceed safely and should not come out at this time. Anyone in the armed forces with questions or concerns should call our hotline.”
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is a national, non-profit legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese issued the following statement:
“The administration should comply with her order and stop enforcing this unconstitutional, unconscionable law that forces brave lesbian and gay Americans to serve in silence. The President has said this law harms our national security and we believe it would be a mistake to appeal the decision. Each additional day that this unjust law remains in force is one more day the federal government is complicit in discrimination.”
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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According to The Associated Press:
“A federal judge has issued a nationwide injunction stopping enforcement of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, ending the military’s 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops.
“U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips’ landmark ruling Tuesday was widely cheered by gay rights organizations that credited her with getting accomplished what President Obama and Washington politics could not.
“U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say they are under no legal obligation to do so and they could let Phillips’ ruling stand.
“Phillips declared the law unconstitutional after a two-week trial in federal court in Riverside.”
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I am an out lesbian. I’m 20 years old and came out when I was 17. I dated a girl who was in the National Guard. I’m also now talking to a girl who is in the Air Force. I have seen first hand how DADT has affected their lives. I don’t believe it is fair to make them hide a part of who they are when they are willingly serving and protecting our country. Protecting our freedom has nothing to do with what sex their partner is. I would much rather have a gay man or lesbian who knows what they’re doing serving in the military rather than a straight man or woman who has no idea what they’re doing.
Gay men and women are capable of serving in the military just as much as straight men and women. Some people say that they feel uncomfortable living with a homosexual. I truly don’t understand the problem. They’re there to serve their country not flirt and sexually harass you. America needs to realize that we are ALL equal. No one is better than you based on money, race, sexual orientation, or sex. You get what you give. I can’t wait until we finally repeal this stupid law because I give a damn about equality!
I am currently in the process of getting out of the military. I’m getting out because I’m pregnant, but really I’m getting out because I would have gotten kicked out otherwise. I have been military police for the last 3 years. An incident happened with my personal life around New Year’s, a girl I know opened her mouth about everything at work, and I was pretty much told that if I didn’t choose to get out because of the pregnancy I would more than likely get kicked out because they knew about my personal life.
I will be fine after the military, but it was something I enjoyed and was great at. I could’ve gone far and had a career, but my lifestyle doesn’t promote a professional image. Its funny because everyone at my job knew and had no problem with it at all. I was friends with everyone. I will never understand why the higher leadership cares if the people that we work with everyday don’t care.
I am a Female-to-Male transgender teenager. I am 17. My name is not legally changed yet, neither is my sex.
For as long as I can remember I wanted to be involved in the military. By the age of 14, I had my entire future planned out; I would join JROTC in high school, move on to ROTC in college, and proudly serve my country.
My plan started out with me being an active member in the Army JROTC program at my high school. I participated in almost every extracurricular activity and was one of the top five cadets in my grade.
Near the end of my sophomore year I was looking into colleges I was interested in attending. I e-mailed an ROTC recruiter at a certain university and asked how they would accommodate transgender cadets. The recruiter responded by telling me that, due to the Department of Defense policy, transgender people were not allowed in the military. I responded by asking what would happen if I joined, but didn’t come out as transgender. The recruiter told me that he knew all my information by my e-mail address and he would have to report me if I tried to join.
In two days I had my 16 year dream crushed. I didn’t know whether I was more angry at the military, or more angry at a relative who works for the DOD and didn’t tell me about this policy. I was a wreck for the next six months. Then, I finally realized I was better than the military and I didn’t need to waste my time with such a discriminatory group.
Though I no longer have an interest in the military, my heart goes out to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people that do.
I graduated as a Salutatorian from a Baptist High School. I served, honorably, in both the Army National Guard, and United States Marine Corp. I hold a valid passport, and cross the International Border on a regular basis. 6 Gup in Kong Su Do, 146 IQ, healthy. First Black American to march in an Ensenada, Mexico Gay Pride Parade (in their FIRST ONE).
I am a voter. I am a United States Citizen, I am a good person (not perfect, but…). How dare anyone try to deny me, or my brothers and sisters, on either side of the border, human equality.
When I see, or hear about some of the evil things people do makes me want to “take off my pumps, put on my combat boots, and start stomping a few mudholes”. But, I am better than that.
I didn’t list the things, above, to “toot my own horn”. I know that I am “not all that”. Only my close friends and family even know those things. I listed them to make a point:
None of those things matter. In the grand scheme of things, we are all human beings. The problem is that, many people don’t see it that way. They would use their talents, skills, and other blessings to push people down, and trample on their humanity and hopes. That is when those of us who GIVE A DAMN, need to use what WE can, to stop the madness!
Sergeant Alan Powell, USMC gives a damn, and salutes everyone else, who does! Semper FI!
I was once in the United States Marines until I was discharged for homosexual conduct. After giving them 3 years of being one of the best workers, high fitness score performer, uniformed always outstanding, great conduct scores, pretty much one of the best Marines that were in my unit. Well to make the story short, at the time I was deployed to Iraq in 2006 and had one of my other Marine friends back in Arizona (also gay) and we would communicate through MySpace. We would leave each other comments, such as I miss you, etc.
Then one Marine back in Arizona printed them and reported them to the Staff. Which then started an investigation, which led them to ship me back to Arizona. 6 months later my friend and I were discharged for homosexual conduct for sending “homosexual” comments on MySpace. I was so hurt and pissed off because simply because of comments on the internet that appeared to be homosexual they proceeded with the discharge, while other Marines that were less fit to be a Marine remained to complete their tour.
Not only did I not get all my benefits, it went through embarrassment and emotionally hurt because I felt like I was being punished for something bad that I didn’t do. I did nothing to hurt anybody or anyone. I also tried submitting a package to upgrade my discharge to Honorable, and it was denied. Worst experience I have went through in my life. Apparently by being gay I am not suitable to serve my country. Hope that one day people can serve freely with out having to hide or deny who they really are.
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Our co-founder Cyndi Lauper has released the following statement on today's marriage equality rulings by the United States Supreme ...Author:
The following is an excerpt from a story by ABC News / The Associated Press: "After years of debate and months of final preparations, ...Author:
Sexual orientation has nothing to do with how well a service member performs his or her job. But under the 1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, being openly gay can be cause for discharge from the military.