LGBT Pride Month: What It Means to Me As A Veteran

Almost two weeks ago, on May 31, 2013, an important event took place in ourPresident Barack Obama, soldiers, LGBTQ flag nation’s capital. Unfortunately, certain news media outlets either didn’t cover the story or it was quickly glossed over.  So I’ll mention it here. President Barack Obama, in a Presidential Proclamation, named June 2013 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. You can read the president’s proclamation here.

In that same week, fellow blogger, nudist and friend Roger Poladopoulos, knowing I’d served a full career in the Navy and am a supporter of many LGBT issues and causes, asked me to write an article for his then-blog, A Guy Without Boxers (now ReNude Pride), sharing my thoughts on what LGBT Pride Month means to me as a veteran. I was more than happy and honored to do that for it gives me an opportunity to give a retired veteran’s view since the lifting of the ban against LGBT/GLBT people serving in America’s armed forces.
Here’s the article.

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The death of Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT)Since President Barack Obama did away with the highly ineffective policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) almost two years ago, LGBT Pride Month has had – and it continues to have, more of a significant meaning to me as a veteran. I served 20 years in the U.S. Navy, joining at the tail-end of heavy U.S. NCIS (United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service (formerly NIS)) witch-hunts and screenings designed to detect and eradicate any Sailor or Marine thought or suspected to be gay or bisexual. Such actions were not only being conducted in the Navy and Marine Corps but in all of America’s armed forces!

United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service (seal)Over the span of my career, up to the point after the DADT policy was established (under President Clinton in late 1993), and training implemented at the naval command bases and ships where I was stationed, I have witnessed several loyal, honest and dedicated men and women get discharged or forced out of the Navy and Marines for being gay or suspected of being gay or bisexual. Many other gay and bisexual men and women who were still serving decided not to reenlist due to the stresses of having to live undercover or “on the low” because of their sexuality. I was a telecommunications specialist in the Navy. Often my job meant being privy to the knowledge of some of those Sailors or Marines being discharged from military service due to homosexuality. It always broke my heart to see the names of people I knew, some who wereus-military-seals1 friends or acquaintances, being kicked out and being made to start their lives over simply because of found or suspected homosexuality. I always counted myself as being one of the fortunate ones whom some of those fine men and women – my brothers and sisters in uniform, considered to be a trusted friend and confidant.

There is an adage that says, “If one is chained, then all are chained; if one isn’t free, then no one is free.(or words to that effect). I’d like to think that whenever one of the world’s greatest armed forces allows for bigotry and hatred to function within its leadership and ranks, that military entity DoD_Pride_Month_2013_postercannot be an effective defender of a nation or its people, let alone the world. President Harry S Truman must have realized this when he ordered the desegregation of the U.S. armed forces in July 1948.

With gay, lesbian and bisexual men and women now free to serve openly in America’s military, the chains that once bound its potential for growth have been severed. This means that except for those few dissenters who protest about having to serve alongside known gays and bisexuals, overall EVERY man and woman, regardless of their sexual orientation, can now serve their country with much fuller distinction, individual potential, honor and pride; pride not just in the respective branch of service in which that person serves but pride as in being recognized, respected and accepted for being a complete individual who wears the military uniform!

Keepin’ It…REAL!

7 thoughts on “LGBT Pride Month: What It Means to Me As A Veteran

  1. Once again, your worldview is awesome and inspiring! I appreciate all your efforts to open the eyes of others who, too often, refuse to look beyond the tip of their nose. President Obama promised us hope and change. He leads the way and you direct the journey to those who lose their sense of direction. Great job, my naked friend!

    • Thank you,Corey!
      For everyone reading, some information:
      For centuries, gays, lesbians and bisexuals have fought in armies for their respective countries. In many ancient societies, homosexuality was a completely acceptable thing in the armed forces-in which mainly MEN fought. In fact, the Stars TV series, Spartacus often gives reference to this fact. But for TV skeptics, I offer the reading of one particular good book to read that gives insight to homosexuality in the armed forces over the centuries and its existence from “over there” to “over here”:

      The late journalist/author Randy Shilts gives some excellent history and insight into some of the questions people ask! The book was published in 1993, the very same year “Don’t Ask/ Don’t Tell” (DADT) was placed into effect. Some societies frown on homosexuality, others don’t. Over the centuries, religions like Christianity played a heavy role in making people hide their sexual orientation due to the threat of severe punishments and even death by Christian factions and the Church. While that sort of thing continues to go on in places like Africa, Jamaica and the Middle East for example, thankfully history is once again reversing itself IN FAVOR of seeing how ridiculous it is in keeping homosexual and bisexual people from serving in the armed forces simply because of who they are. I’ve witnessed these changes happening in other countries during my military career and am very happy to see that America is now allowing LGBT people to serve. This is one of my reasons for writing this article.

      • This is simply great information, RobFather, I remember hearing about it, and wishing that people would not be judged because of their sexual orientation,

  2. Great article. I think so many people are too busy trying to run the lives of others and can’t run their own lives. It’s sad and amusing at the same time. Sad that they don’t know any better and contribute to hurting people. Amusing that they run in a circle biting at their own asses like fools.

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