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I wish I'd known your story back then.
Michael
Submitted: 2009-01-25 02:30:18.000 (post #: 2282)

I only served for a year and a half into my term before getting out with the DADT. I have to say that military life isn't for me, and so I was not very remiss about getting out of the service. And the assumptions that flew across, the fact that people would come up to me and say, "Are you gay? You can tell me," so casually was very troubling. The whole thing had the feeling of a small town, and it's impossible not to have people notice things, little things, even if you have no intention of ever falling in love, and manage never to find anybody. Everybody simply 'knows.' My command was wonderful about the whole thing. Our commanding officer offered to simply shred the message I gave him stating that I was homosexual. I wanted out, however, and since it was right around the time of Massachusetts approving same sex marriage, I wanted to take my fiancee and get married there. As for me, I'm bisexual, and also transgendered. I kept it simple because I wanted to avoid discharge for having a personality disorder. I could handle the honorable discharge for my orientation, but not something like that with psychiatric examinations. I wish I had known your story back then, because it would have helped a lot. You are very inspirational, and now when there seems a good chance that Obama will help rescind the DADT, I hope more people will discover it and re-think some of their views. And I am so happy that you have supportive people in your life; we all need more of that, I think.
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Re: I wish I'd known your story back then.
Grethe
Submitted: 2009-02-19 23:22:20.000 (post #: 2283)

Michael, I do hope you have landed on your feet with your own gender or sexual orientation integrated in who you are. It sounds as if it has been a difficult journey with so many different components getting in the way. Don't Ask, Don't Tell continues to be the challenge of the day especially for those 65,000 still serving today. It will take time to overcome the ignorance and yet each of us must continue to speak out for equality by telling the truth about our own lives. Gender identity is something that still scares people and yet we have learned as people tell their stories also. I wish you the very best.
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