Sunday, December 19, 2010

Military FINALLY to be Equal?

Gay men and women will soon be able to serve openly in the military for the first time in our nation's history, rather than hiding their sexuality or being forced to lie about it.

There are thousands upon thousands of blog posts across the globe about the repeal of the military's bigoted "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy against gays, so I hesitated adding my small voice to that growing cacophony.

What can I say, that hasn't been said? Then it dawned on me: I'm bisexual, so I HAVE to add my small voice.

Before becoming disabled, I worked in law enforcement, within an agency that mimicked many military practices. In fact, a huge percentage of my co-workers were retired police, military or reservists. After 9-11, a large number of them were re-activated or volunteered and were sent immediately to Iran and into combat.

I knew that many of those men and women were also members of the Lesbian-Gay-Tri-Gender community. They responded to the country's call to arms without hesitation, putting their civilian lives on hold indefinitely. They kissed their families and significant others good-bye, and donned their helmets, fatigues and loaded their automatic rifles.

As most know, the military code of conduct requires that each member practice and respect honesty in service. How then, could these brave heroes be told by their country that they must lie about the core truth of their lives, or they would be barred from serving, or drummed out of the military in disgrace?

So, all of the ones I knew lied by omission. They did not declare their sexuality, and refused to disclose it if asked. Some of them were wounded, some never came home. The ones that did, were often re-deployed more than once because they had advanced military training and skills. When they finally came home and stayed, many were scarred emotionally and/or physically, and most were forever changed — just like their heterosexual counterparts. No difference. No difference at all.

I don't know one LGBT man or woman who wants to "seduce" a heterosexual, especially during combat! They simply want equality, to live normal lives, free from the constant stereotyping and bigotry that they have had to endure for eons.

Sexuality is NOT a choice, or a lifestyle. It is simply a biological fact. There are rotten LGBTs, just like their are rotten heterosexuals. The person you sleep with is not someone's defining char-ac-ter-is-tic — no, that would be char-ac-ter! You know, like strength, perseverance, compassion, courage, and honesty!

Equal rights means, uh, equal rights, i.e., freedom. It remains shocking to me that LGBTs have been seeking the right to die for those rights by defending our country. Shouldn't we all be focused on working toward peace? Maybe now, we will be.

"By ending 'don't ask, don't tell,' no longer will our nation be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans forced to leave the military, despite years of exemplary performance, because they happen to be gay. And no longer will many thousands more be asked to live a lie in order to serve the country they love," President Obama said in a statement.

It is high time that America joins the rest of the developed world. LGBT's right to serve openly and without penalty or disdain in the military is a huge step in doing just that. Now, let us turn our attention to bringing our military service members home safely — and soon — from all wars.

— The Curator

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