Thursday, May 28, 2009

Don't Ask, Don't Tell leading the way...

I missed this during Memorial Day Weekend. Click above to go to the Service Members Legal Defense Network.

As the debates on LGBT equality heat up in light of Prop 8 being upheld by the California Court, a new leader is beginning to emerge. Lt. Dan Choi is the new voice of LGBT rights. He is bright, good looking and articulate. His story speaks to people beyond the gay community. His willingness to serve his country, put his life on the line highlights the seriousness of the situation for many Americans.

Some of the long time leaders in the movement will no doubt say Lt. Choi is a not representative of the "gay community." He's squeaky clean. He's "straight acting." This is not the real face of our community.

But Choi is the face of LGBT, as much as the flaming queens and the hard-body go-go boys that often grab the photographers attention at PRIDE. This is not only true of the mainstream media, but also the gay media. WE are a diverse community. Most of us lead uninteresting lives, don't hang out a gay bars every night or run from circuit party to circuit party. Many of us serve in the military, go to church, live in small towns, hang out with friends and just stay home to watch TV.

Lt. Choi is broadening the perspective of many, especially those who's lives are filtered by the community in which they live where LGBT don't feel comfortable revealing themselves. Many are in a church where gay people would never feel welcome to be out. They belong to the VWF where they can talk about the "others" not realizing that the friend next to them has a secret. That person perhaps laughs at the joke about the "two dykes" and thinks it is funny and clever, but a clear sign that she is in "don't ask, don't tell" territory.

Too many LGBT Americans live in a Don't Ask, Don't Tell world. Dan Choi is helping those who do, gay and straight, to consider that.

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