In today’s society being gay is hard, however, being gay in military is even harder. The subject of gay in the military has been fought over and debated for years. Those who enlist in the Armed Forces simply want to serve their country, and give back to it, so why does it matter if you are gay or not?
In the year of 1993, LGB community could not enlist in the military unless they remained deep in the “closet” and concealed their sexuality from both their families as well as the military. Today, this is known as “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy”. This policy forbids any military personnel from harassing, threatening or discriminating against any LGB member of the military. The belief behind this prohibition was that those who are open lesbian or gay in the military will demoralize the interrelation of the military unit as well as affect the morale and discipline of the soldiers.
However, on September 20th, 2011 the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy” was repealed. Just hours after President Obama announced the end to 18 years of injustice towards men and woman who wanted to serve their homeland but couldn’t because they were gay, Randy Phillips, an American airman recorded a phone call to his father that would later make him the poster boy for the DADT repeal. The 21-year-old Air Force Senior Airman, who is stationed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, videotaped a phone call of himself coming out to his father and posted it on You Tube. The video instantly went viral- bringing in over 4, 600, 000 viewers. Since last April, Randy used a nickname “AreYouSuprised” and has posted a series of 17 anonymous YouTube videos chronicling his life as a gay soldier in the military. This last video would bring his tough journey as a closeted gay to a happy ending. Randy, clearly nervous, sits on his desk as he dials his father in Alabama; after exchanging quick hellos, Randy simply asks “Will you love me, serious? Like, you’ve always loved me, as long as I live?”, “Yes” – his father answered, as his voices lowers Phillips tells him, “Dad, I’m gay.” This simple yet powerful conversation will make Phillips life not only easier but also happier, as he told the ABCNEWS “It feels great. It’s nice not having to look over your shoulder or worry about who you are talking to.”
Although, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy” has been officially repealed, over 14,000 thousand former gay and lesbian troops who were forced to leave armed forces now have trouble re-enlisting. Those who wish to return to the forces, will need to pass another physical test and sign additional waivers if you are above a certain age. In addition, they cannot be guaranteed that they will be re- enlisted in the same rank or be enlisted at all since armed services have limited space (btw…I laughed really hard on the last one!). Michael Almy, Jase Daniels as well as another former service member have come together in order to file a lawsuit claiming that they were “unconstitutionally discharged and should be reinstated…at their former ranks.”
In my opinion, if you want to serve your country and you are capable and willing you should go for it. It should not matter if you are gay or lesbian because in the end of the day if you can protect the people of your homeland, then you should be able to do it. I believe that Randy is a brace man who deserves a lot of respect. He is not ashamed of being who he is, all he want is to be accepted by his family and piers. Also, I do not blame Almy, Deniels and the third member for filing the lawsuit. They should be able to return to the services if they want to and they should not be penalized because of a policy, which was proven to be unconstitutional.