Today is a significant moment in the Civil Rights movement for the LGBT community. While I am happy that today marks the end of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy, I can’t help but worry about how slowly the wheels of progress move and how safe our LGBT brothers and sisters will actually be from their own ranks.
18 years ago, it was President Clinton who capitulated to the Republican bullies and instituted the DADT policy. Let us not forget the chief bullies that played center stage during the Clinton years, Ken Starr and Linda Tripp, better known as Boris and Natasha. One need not look hard to see Democratic Presidents capitulating to Republican bullies.
While the Pentagon has made statements that the military is now ready and has been trained to work with the LGBT community, the reality is that we know many of our LGBT soldiers are still going to be bullied by their peers. I have heard the “higher ups” state that they will enforce the new policies regardless if they agree with them. I worry about LGBT soldiers fear of reporting abuse or harassment; feels rather like our Anita Hill having to report sexual harassment to her then boss and abuser, Clarence Thomas–we all know how well that turned out. If only we could discharge that legacy of Bush Sr.
For today, I shall put aside my skepticism, and celebrate a move towards civil rights and equality for the LGBT community. Now, let us get to the business of repealing DOMA!