So both the left and right newsies are all a-Twitter (it would be a better pun if I actually had a Twitter account, I suppose) about Tues, 20 Sep as the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. There are a few Congressfolk putting in last-ditch efforts to stop or delay it, while in other places (including here in Colorado) there are coming-out parties planned, with attendance by local and state reps and possibly even higher-level folks showing up. It’s a BIG DEAL.
And that’s true – it is a big deal in some ways, but it seems both sides have way overblown ideas of what’s going to happen in the military come Wednesday. The right seems to think troops will be prancing around in pink g-strings and wearing rainbow flags instead of the U.S. one. The left seems to think…. well, actually, they seem to think the same thing – that gay troops will embrace their new-found freedom and should exercise their right to flaunt and yell “yoo-hoo sweetie, here I am!” to their Colonels and Generals. The only difference between the two sides seems to be that the right thinks gay rape attacks will be epidemic in the barracks showers, and the left thinks the rest of the military – clearly made up entirely of radical right-wing homophobes – is going to try to lynch all the gay members.
I don’t think much of anything is going to change, frankly. Yes, there will be some people distinctly unhappy with it, as I saw in the DADT training, and a small few may separate, but most of us, gay and straight, really only care about if the person you’re working with is competent, and if you can trust them to have your back (no pun intended there; I simply couldn’t come up with a better phrase that didn’t have gay innuendo). I’ve served… well, heck, everyone who’s in or has ever been in the military has served with homosexuals, eaten lunch with them, and yes, showered at the gym with them already. And frankly, while some folks undoubtedly have managed to camouflage their closet doors well, I know quite a number of gays in the military. I’ve never asked and they’ve never told specifically, so we could both avoid that little legal trap, but I’ve known, and they’ve known I’ve known, and guess what? – they know I don’t give a shit.
If you’re good at your job, do it, and I can trust you, and you feel the same way, it doesn’t matter. And while, as I mentioned above, there will undoubtedly be some straight military who are obviously opposed to the coming-out and will push the regs to the limit making that clear, I’m sure there will be a few gay folks coming out who do the same thing, and to them as well I say “get over yourself.” You’re gay. Great. I DO think it’s a great societal step that you don’t have to hide it any more, but if you’re going to flaunt it, I mentally put you in the same camp as those so vocally opposing you: you’re more caught up in yourself than doing the mission, so refocus or get out.
Black, white, male, female, gay, straight, short, tall, left-handed, right-handed… when it comes down to it, everyone’s pretty much the same; people are just too caught up in themselves and in trying to impose their own morals, values and beliefs on everyone else to notice that your [insert adjective describing someone different from you] neighbor watches the same tv shows, follows the same sports teams, and shops at the same places you do. I don’t care what color you are, what plumbing you have down below or what gender you’re attracted to. Just do your job, I’ll do mine, we’ll have each others’ back and hopefully get through this huge mess (and the term applies to both being deployed downrange or working in the bureaucratic SNAFU that is an HQ) alive.