Ten years after “don’t ask, don’t say”, US cadets see progress

Kelly Nomois was nervous when he arrived at the Coast Guard Academy campus in Connecticut in 2008. She appeared as a lesbian to a few friends near the end of high school, but she said, “Don’t ask.” Tell me “was a policy that banned gay people from serving openly.

She was silent about her sexuality during her freshman years, fearing dropout and the ruin of a career that hadn’t yet begun. She started testing the waters in the second year.

Nomois, an aide to Cutter Sanibel based in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, said: “But you always have that moment that was such a leap of faith.”

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Say” this week, a new generation of Military Academy students said the campus is now tolerant, welcoming, and largely inclusive. As mentioned, more work is needed. If not done.

Homosexual aversion or ignorant comments still occur from time to time. Many transgender students are still worried about coming out. And supporters say the military needs to do more to include non-binary and intersex people, as well as people infected with HIV.

The 32-year-old Nomois and fellow cadet chipholes in Mount Laurel, NJ led the formation of the Coastguard Academy’s Spectrum Diversity Council, the first advocacy group for LGBTQ students at the Army Military Academy. Don’t tell me, ”finished on September 20, 2011. Similar groups were later formed at four other service academies.

Gays and lesbians were banned in the military until 1993 when they were approved to “don’t ask, don’t say.” This allowed them to serve only if they did not openly acknowledge their sexual orientation. Proponents say the policy actually caused more problems, rather than supporting it. Throughout its history, the military has dismissed more than 100,000 military personnel on the basis of sexuality or gender identity. 14,000 of them were dismissed during “don’t ask, don’t say”.

The abolition of the law was approved by Congress and President Barack Obama in late 2010 and came into effect nine months later, allowing lesbian, gay and bisexual people to serve openly.

A second-year cadet, Marissa Howard, who emerged as a lesbian a few years ago at the Colorado Air Force Academy, said she praised LGBTQ service members who struggled under the former policy.

“I admire them,” said Howard of San Antonio, a member of the Academy’s Spectrum Group. “I feel very integrated into the environment. It’s a good place to feel that my identity is being seen and I don’t have to hide the people here.”

However, she said that some of her fellow cadets do not support LGBTQ classmates. Once during an online class, she said she called her “strange” because someone was gay and probably thought they were muted.

The Coast Guard Academy in New London was the only US Military Academy to hold a public event on Monday to commemorate its 10th anniversary. Approximately 100 people participated in the dinner party and had a discussion while watching the documentary “Don’t ask, don’t say”.

KC Comins, senior at the Bisexual Coast Guard Academy in Altoona, Iowa, and current chairman of the Spectrum Diversity Council, said how it is because many cadets are more embraced by their generation. He said it was difficult to imagine what it was.

“Now we have a lot of us. It’s hard to ignore that we’re here … that’s a new common sense,” said Cummins.

Maj. Gen. William G. Kelly, director of the Coast Guard Academy, told the crowd on Monday that authorities are working hard to include LGBTQ and are developing campus policies for transgender students.

Transgender people have been allowed to serve openly in the military since 2016, but the Trump administration has significantly banned them in 2019. President Joe Biden overturned the ban earlier this year, but formal policies are still being drafted in several places.

At the US Navy School, sexual orientation is of little concern, said gay senior officer candidate Andre Lascaux.

“In my experience, there are always one or two people who feel uncomfortable sitting or riding in a room, like a sports team with someone in the queer community, but they are unusual. “He said.

Students continue to be sexually assaulted and harassed after graduation, with lesbian, gay and bisexual service members disproportionately sacrificed, according to a report by the Independent Review Board submitted to Biden in June. You will face a military environment.

In its latest annual report on sexual assault and harassment at West Point and the Air Force and Navy Military Schools, the Defense Ministry said 129 sexual assaults were reported during the 2019-20 school year. The number of sexual harassment complaints decreased from 17 in the previous year to 12.

Jennifer Dane, Chief Executive Officer and Director of the American Modern Military Association, an LGBTQ advocate, said:

Dane, who served in the Air Force from 2010 to 2016, said the Air Force began investigating her sexuality in her first year, but withdrew the investigation after “don’t ask, don’t say” was abolished. ..

“When it was abolished … I was finally able to become my real self, and it was very empowering,” she said.

Ten years after “don’t ask, don’t say”, US cadets see progress

Source link Ten years after “don’t ask, don’t say”, US cadets see progress

Back to top button