I remember a time I sat in my barracks room at West Point, desperately searching for evidence for that other gays and lesbians in the military existed, while looking nervously over my shoulder to make sure my roommates didn’t see me. I know that many recipients of this message who are actively-serving LGBT military personnel have had similar experiences of paranoia, fear, and loneliness as a result of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy. Although repeal does not take place until certification later this year, today I am writing to tell you that these times are officially over.
I am proud to announce the release of OutServe Magazine, a precedent setting new publication, which will begin appear on military posts across the country on a regular, bi-monthly basis. Gay service members will have to look no further to know that they are not alone.
This not only symbolizes the repeal of DADT and the subsequent end of our silence, but for heterosexual service members the magazine will help to build acceptance of gays and lesbians in the military, reduce the stigma associated with us, and begin deconstructing negative stereotypes that divide us rather than unite us. In the future, service members, gay or straight, will peruse the magazine in waiting rooms as casually as they pick up The Military Times, and they will finally come to realize what we’ve said all along: being gay is no big deal.
To spread the truth about gay and lesbian service members and to keep this magazine in print, we need your help. If interested in advertising or contributing, please email email@example.com for more information. For all other contributions, including the opportunity to setup a recurring monthly donation, please visit http://outserve.org/donate/.
Former West Point cadet and OutServe board member