Just a quick entry here…
Last night was the Academy’s celebration of the one-year anniversary of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. DADT, as I’m sure everyone knows, was the military’s discriminatory policy against homosexuals—if you came out, you got out. However, last year, the Armed Forces implemented a repeal of this policy and ushered in a new era of equality.
To celebrate the anniversary, CGA’s Spectrum Club (the first of its kind at a military academy—more proof that we don’t fit the typical stereotype!) hosted a formal dinner in the Officers’ Club. Various people from the Coast Guard LGBTQ community joined us in the Coast Guard’s only commemoration of the anniversary. For me, hearing their stories about life pre-repeal, and how they serve openly now, really drove home the impact of DADT since its implementation in 1993. As one speaker mentioned, over 13,000 people were forced out of the Coast Guard because they were LGBTQ. Sad indeed.
I’d like to close this entry by noting the importance of helping to foster an environment of equality for all my shipmates. As yet another speaker noted at the dinner last night, the environment aboard cutters and at isolated units still needs to be improved, so that all receive the same right to serve their country. I only hope that as an ensign I can help further that goal. Ship, shipmate, self—as you are taught during Swab Summer, always watch out for your shipmates. I am proud of the work that the Academy and Spectrum are doing to watch out for our shipmates.
More about Peter.