On Sept. 20, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ban was lifted, resulting in a mass of controversy focusing on whether or not the military will be able to effectively perform their duties now that soldiers are able to “come out” and, by all logical standards, will, in turn, wreak havoc on “normal,” polite society and try to take over the world.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell created a system in which soldiers had to hide their sexual orientation and would remain protected from dismissal if they never let it slip that they were gay (in a room full of thousands of soldiers and officers an arms length away, having zero privacy for years at a time, how hard could that be?). This resulted in a great deal of awkward conversation that, I’d like to imagine, went something like like this:
“Hey, Anonymous Solider #4476D1, what are you doing this weekend?”
“Not being gay that’s for sure!”
“Faaabulous! No, wait, I meant — damn right, carry on soldier!”
As we all know, homosexuality is a sin (the voice in the sky said so, of course!), and with that fantastic, not-at-all-stupid mindset, chaos broke loose over the news that soldiers across the armed forces were able to be themselves without being severely punished for doing so.
My favorite person who, I feel, addresses gay rights openly and effectively is the eloquent Michelle Bachmann, Republican of the U.S. House of Representatives, who would reinstate the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ban if elected President. In all of her brilliance, she was quoted saying, “If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. Personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement. And that’s why this is so dangerous” and, “Our children will be forced to learn that homosexuality is normal and natural and that perhaps they should try it…”
And you thought I was kidding about those crafty homosexuals trying to take over the world.
The main question is this: Why are people nation-wide reacting to this event as though it was a second Holocaust? Really, it’s sickening to see the hateful comments posted on various news sites underneath articles addressing one of the greatest freedoms a soldier can be granted. What sense does it make to mercilessly insult the very people who keep the dangers out of and away from our country? This is the 21st century ladies and gentlemen, we are not supposed to belittle others, act immaturely and flat-out hate someone for who they are. Do we need a kindergarten lesson? Play nice, folks.
It is not my intention to sway the minds’ of readers and somehow make a life-changing epiphany occur (but hey, if it happens I’m not going to not take credit for it) but to inject a bit of perspective into an issue that always seems to be regarded in black and white. Sure, you don’t agree with homosexuality, fine – I don’t agree with people who wear Crocs, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to tell those heathens to drop dead. My point is that, this repeal meant a great deal to many wonderful people who just want to express their love for another person without being harassed.
It’s not a perfect world, bad things happen, time slips by too quickly and hardly anyone stops to find the good in anything — ever. So, who are you, who am I, to take away someone’s happiness, especially from a person who is fighting for you?
I get it; it’s not “normal,” right? Neither was that neon green hair-color you sported in high school, ahem. I hate to break it you, but there is no such thing as normalcy and there never was. What I can tell you is that there is a concept called “mutual respect” (say, it with me now…) and I think everyone needs to embody that notion and put it into effect.
So, rather than kick the Croc-wearers in the face and join the ranks in crucifying the homosexual soldiers of America, I will respect their choice and support their decision — because it works for them. I hope that everyone will acknowledge this gracious act on my part and incorporate it into his or her own character when they run into a person that has a lifestyle they may not agree with.