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Because I Am A Lesbian

Because I Am A Lesbian
In my elementary school we used to have a big end of the year concert. Participation was mandatory and each grade had its own set of songs. In the fifth grade one of the songs we sang for the concert was “God Bless the U.S.A.” I ran through my house belting out the song under the pretense of practicing, but really I just liked the sound of my own voice. That was 8 years ago. I felt a strong sense of purpose when I sang that song. My face would flush with pride and my eyes would sparkle when I sang the lines, “And I’d gladly stand up next to you/And defend her still today/'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land/God Bless the USA”. 8 years later I cannot remember a single line of the song; except that one. I am proud to be an American, and I would do whatever it took to defend the freedom our forefathers so valiantly fought for. But I can’t. Because I am a lesbian.

I can honestly say I’ve wanted to serve my country my whole life. I remember being young and hearing stories from my uncle about being in the Air Force. I would imagine what it would be like to fly a fighter jet. My imaginings were more akin to the antics of The Red Baron, but still I had the spark that would rapidly grow into a flame of determination. I signed up for Air Force JROTC in the ninth grade, and loved every minute of it. I would run to my room after school and practice salutes and drills until it was time for dinner. I would make my Mom quiz me on the chain of command and the honor code. It got to a point where I was not allowed to talk about JROTC at the dinner table, because my Mom and step-dad couldn’t get a word in edge-wise. They were proud of me, though. When I graduated from boot camp my Mom gave me my great-grandfather’s shoe shine kit. I polished my shoes with care, and I felt so at home in my uniform. I felt like my life had some sort of purpose; something much bigger than me. I learned respect, honor, and discipline. Those lessons will stay with me for the rest of my life. I would love to fulfill my dream of protecting the country that lets me live my life the way I want. But I can’t. Because I am a lesbian.

I have always known I was a lesbian, even before I knew the word. I wasn’t like the other girls. I didn’t want to play with dolls or wear dresses. I wanted to play with race cars and get dirty. I wanted to be the father instead of the mother when we played house. There was nothing wrong with it at that age. Everyone said I would grow out of it. But I didn’t. I was at my cousin’s house one scorching summer day. He was a boy and so were his friends. They didn’t care that I was girl; if I could take a hit like them it didn’t matter. One of the boys suggested we have a water fight, and we all agreed enthusiastically. The boys started to take off their shirts and so did I. An older boy caught me and got angry. I couldn’t understand why; the boys were taking their shirts off, so I thought I should be able to do the same. That’s when I first realized that I was different. I wasn’t like the other girls when I got older, either. They wanted to wear makeup and talk about boys. I wanted to wear my dirty jeans and go exploring in the woods. I started noticing girls about the same time they started to notice boys. I didn’t think there was anything wrong. I have been openly gay for the past 4 years, and I’m not going back in the closet. I am happily married to a woman, and that means I can’t serve in the military. I don’t want to have to choose; I just want to serve. But I can’t. Because I am a lesbian.

The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy needs to be repealed. If, for no other reason than to uphold the laws of freedom this country stands for. It is unconstitutional to bar someone from serving their country based on their sexuality. It’s like saying heterosexuals are more human than homosexuals. I feel like I’m normal. No one is better than me, and I am better than no one. I want to do what I was born to do. But I can’t. Because I am a lesbian.



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This article has 14 comments. Post your own now!

BeyondTheBrooke said...
Nov. 26, 2011 at 11:59 pm
afjrotc in washington? prairie high school? im in afjrotc at prairie and im bi... i took a girl to the military ball (9th grade btw) i like this story
 
rawr93 said...
Jul. 14, 2010 at 9:32 am
This is AMAIZING!! Being an open lesbian really can stop you from your dreams and goals. Ive had many friends that were open and it hurt them. I am still in the closet. choosing who to tell and who to let figure it out for themselves is nerve racking. I always feel like someone will figure out or that the one person I told will tell others. Its just a stressful situation. I SHOULN"T HAVE TO HIDE WHO I AM BECAUSE IM AFRAID!!!!
 
Quinntre said...
Jun. 28, 2010 at 3:38 am
The don't ask don't tell policy is there for a reason. Imagine your in a tent full of girls and they find out your a lesbian. Thing's get awkward they don't want to work with you exc. it stops discrimination before it can start. You can still serve you just can't tell people your a lesbian.
 
deeloujen replied...
Oct. 1, 2010 at 10:06 am
The don't ask don't tell policy is discrimination. If you are in the military, chances are you have more important things to worry about. A person's sexuality does not affect their ability to serve.
 
Phantom_Girl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 5, 2010 at 3:05 pm

"Stops discrimination before it starts"? Sorry, but first of all, the "don't tell" part hasn't been going so well. People have their e-mails checked to find out if they're gay. That's not stopping discrimination.

I apologize if I sound harsh, but the tone your giving is one that sounds kind of like "Oh, silly lesbian. This law is to PROTECT you. You don't know what you want. We have to tell you what you want." I'm sure that's not what you intended, but you really should consider how ga... (more »)

 
silence-is-loud replied...
Jun. 3, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Excuse me miss, I am not a lesbian myself, but you have to realize that lesbians, bisexuals, and gays are also human beings. Your sexuallity shouldnt determine what you should or should not do. I consider this discrimination.

 

 
TxDragon said...
Apr. 25, 2010 at 11:19 am
you can serve. you just can't tell others that you're lesbian.  I agree with don't ask don't tell. It makes sense.  There is a reason that men and women don't share tents or barracks.  That same reason holds true for not telling all the other women (who are most likely heterosexual) that you share a tent with that you are attracted to them.
 
anika replied...
Jul. 26, 2010 at 7:42 pm
Lesbians aren't attracted to every woman indiscriminately!  She's obviously trying to serve her country, not chase women.  If a gay person is attracted to someone in the military, they maybe shouldn't tell them while serving and definitely shouldn't pursue someone who's not interested- but not because they're gay, because any romantic situation could be distracting and potentially divisive and dangerous.  No one should have to hide that they are gay!  Everyon... (more »)
 
TxDragon replied...
Oct. 1, 2010 at 9:08 am
If you actually care about serving your country, you'll be selfless enough to not care about being able to tell everyone that you're gay.  When you join the military, you make a sacrifice, and one of the first things you learn is: you are no longer an individual, you are a soldier.  Therefore, you're particular sexual orientation should not be something you proudly announce.  You don't tell, they don't ask.
 
jpv41193 said...
Apr. 22, 2010 at 9:56 am
Brilliant work!! I couldn't agree with you more. Why the government would ever turn away hundreds of thousands of people who are willing to fight and die for our amazing country over something like sexual orientation is beyond me...
 
Green.Ink said...
Apr. 8, 2010 at 4:22 pm
This is brilliantly written! And I agree with you; the policy is absurd. You and every other homesexual deserves to be able to do with their lives what they they want to do, and not be barred by another's difference of opinion.
 
MisplacedTexan14 said...
Apr. 7, 2010 at 9:28 pm
The dont ask, dont tell policy is there for a good reason. Plus, being a tomboy DOES NOT make you lesbian. I like getting dirty, dont like make up and all that, but I like boys just like all the other girls I know. I want to serve too, and I understand why that policy is there.
 
deeloujen replied...
Apr. 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm
I was not saying being a tomboy means that you are a lesbian; I was simply giving some background information on myself. I would like to know why you agree with the don't ask don't tell policy. I have been racking my brain trying to think of a way this policy could help people. I have not been able to find any reason for it to exist, and I would like to know what you think so that I can understand what law maker were thinking when they created this policy.
 
SantyClaws said...
Apr. 7, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Great article. :( Although it makes me really sad and disappointed with the way our country still runs.

Everyone should be treated equally, no matter who they are, or how they act. It's such a simple concept. Why is it that so many people can't understand?

And please. If your only reason is the bible, or some other ridiculous religious reasoning, get over yourself. Of course, I'm not saying I have anything against that religion, for you have the right to worship whatever the hel... (more »)

 
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