I have read many stories from soldiers and their families who just don’t care if their comrades are gay. Then I’ve read stories like the one told by Sgt. Tracey L. Cooper-Harris. Sgt. Cooper-Harris was made to choose between having her sexual orientation revealed and end her career or perform sexual favors on fellow soldiers. To add insult to injury, Cooper-Harris had seen what those before her had gone through by reporting to superiors that they were being sexually harassed with similar ultimatums. In the end, those who told were discharged, ending their military careers, while those guilty of sexual harassment were barely punished. It was hardly a fair trade, leaving those like Cooper-Harris with little to no choice.
Gay and lesbian soldiers are already serving in the U.S. armed forces. They are already bunking with, showering with and defending with heterosexual counterparts. They just cannot reveal who they are, who their partners are, and they have to go into a hectic, mind-wrenching profession keeping up the facade that they are heterosexual, too. It is draining enough to be in the military, especially those who are deployed, but to constantly be looking over your shoulder to make sure nobody finds out about you? It adds a level of pressure to a gay/lesbian soldier heterosexual soldiers won’t endure.
Sure, I’ve heard the arguments about bunking and showering with “gays”, which, by the way, is absolutely ridiculous. Just because a lesbian soldier likes women does not mean she is hot for ALL women. It does not mean she wants to have sex with ALL women. Many homosexuals serving in the military have partners back home, and they are often in monogamous relationships. Just like straight couples, this means the gay soldier loves their partner and wants to have sex with their partner. They aren’t looking for booty calls or quickies. Further, the military has so much going on. who has time to think about sex? Oh yeah, I imagine if I were out in the 100+ degrees sun, hot, sweaty, smelling of stench with weapons all around me and bombs blowing up all around me, the first thought on MY mind would be to get it on with others in my unit. Did you catch the sarcasm there?
I have a message to all those straight soldiers out there who think their gay/lesbian comrades want to jump their bones.
Guess what, cupcake. You are NOT the bees knees. Frankly, you are most likely unattractive to the homos in your unit because they ain’t feelin’ you that way. So, get over yourself. Worry about doing your job and not about whether other soldiers are looking at your butt. Most likely, they aren’t.
Ok, now that I have gotten that out of the way, I really have to ask: WHY DOES IT MATTER IF GAY SOLDIERS SERVE?
DADT needs to be repealed because soldiers can get fired if they are outed. Higher ranked officers cannot acknowledge their partners nor let them celebrate military achievements in public, the way spouses of heterosexual soldiers can (and are expected to do so).
It needs to be repealed because gay and lesbian soldiers have fought JUST AS HARD as their straight counterparts in equally as hard jobs. They have been found in every sector of the armed forces, at multiple levels and at numerous ranks with multiple job titles. The gay soldier IS THERE. They deserve the chance to be protected from being discharged. The military needs these soldiers NOW more than ever, while we are still at war and in need of more soldiers at home and abroad.
It needs to be repealed because gay and lesbian soldiers have died, are dying and WILL DIE for their country. Their partner is not informed initially of their passing and gets no say in medical or funeral arrangements. These soldiers deserve to die with the dignity afforded to all straight soldiers and their partners/spouses.
These soldiers have DIED protecting a nation that does not treat them equal. They fight to uphold a system of government that wants to deny their very existence. They serve a country that professes it is fighting for freedom, yet these soldiers have their freedoms denied. Still, they fight.
So, why not give them the chance to fight, serve, and protect with pride in themselves, their lives and their country? It is not going to harm the military, because gay soldiers are already there and already serving. They’ve just been forced to stifle the freedom they deserve of being who they truly are.
[tags]DADT, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Homosexuality, Military, Gay, Serve, Protect, Repeal, Soldiers, Gay Soldiers[/tags]
***Photo Copyright rharrison. Available under Creative Commons.