I am a proud daughter of a lesbian mother. I also am a proud daughter of a military mother. I'm writing this with the hope that one day people may fully understand that the harmful impact of DADT goes beyond the patriots who are forced to serve in silence. It hurts their families as well.
Following my mother coming out to my father and me, we quickly learned that we could no longer have honest conversations about our family. I learned all too early that to do so could jeopardize everything we had. I could lose my education, health care and the roof over our heads. What 11-year-old should have to be burdened with these anxieties? This, however, was my reality - and remains the reality for children of LGBT service members.
My mother retired after 25 years of dedication and duty. She is also a veteran of two wars. If you were to ask her whether she would serve and risk everything all over again, her answer would be "Yes."
I believe firmly that DADT must be repealed - not only because of the closet my mom had to live in but because of the closeted life my dad and I were forced to live as well. No one should have to live a double life as my family did. No child should have to lie about their family just to ensure they have a roof over their head. Change will come soon. There will be no better day than when patriots and their families are no longer forced to live in secret.
Until this day comes, let us honor the bravery of those who are serving currently and those who have served before them in defense of a country which still doesn't fully recognize them. On this Memorial Day I ask that we take a moment to acknowledge their service and sacrifice. In the meantime change will come - DADT will be repealed.
05-23-09 By Paulie Schreck |