I am ashamed to say that until I started to write this, I really didn’t know anything about DADT. I knew that it had to do with the military and that it prevented gays in the military. It was very basic knowledge that I knew. Then when it came to the repeal, I knew nothing. I knew it passed, but I didn’t know what that meant for the future of gays in the military. Then I had the opportunity to pick a topic and interview people for a paper in my media writing class. I chose to do something about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in order to educate myself. I do believe I was successful, and I have decided that I would share:
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, DADT, has been an issue in military services for a long time. It has made it impossible for gay people to serve openly in the military. A gay person could serve, as long as they didn’t tell anyone. With the repeal of DADT, which will take affect this summer, Aaron Harley-Bishop, a Twinsburg native who will soon graduate high school is hoping to enlist.
Bishop, an aspiring Marine, had been interested in joining “the toughest branch” in the military since he was in middle school. Bishop wanted to join, even if it wasn’t repealed. He was willing to live a hidden life to fight for his country.
“I hate how even though we can’t serve openly, we have to sign up for selective service when we’re 18, just in case,” Said Bishop regarding DADT.
He expressed, with much vulgarity, just how wrong DADT was.
“The government was basically telling me that, ‘Oh, faggots can’t join the military get out of here we don’t want you, but if we need to draft you, we will force you to join.'”
He didn’t see why it mattered if someone was a homosexual or not. According to Bishop, he viewed DADT as something saying that, nothing was as important then making the soldier next to him feel, “uncomfortable.” Even though the straight soldiers and the gay soldiers were facing the same probability of mental hardships–with the threat of seeing death–it still wasn’t as bad as a brother in arms being uncomfortable.
With the repeal of DADT, those injustices that Bishop verbalized, are now a thing of the past, at least they will be in the summer.
“I think that it was about damn time the bill was repealed because its f***ing 2011 and we were still messin’ around with bullshit like DADT,” Bishop said.
Now with new homosexual recruits looking to enlist this summer, how will it be taken among those in the military already. There is bound to be opposition, there usually is on any high priority topic.
Former Marine, Jeff Cantrell, is one of many opposing the DADT appeal.
“Having openly gay people in the military would just create a lot of unneeded tension, especially in the infantry environment,” Cantrell said, who was formerly part of infantry.
He feels that under certain circumstances, there could be problems. More specifically in infantry, which is “100% man.” He brought up the subject of some soldiers being uncomfortable with sharing rooms, and in some cases having to share showers.
“Yeah, never would I be okay with that,” Cantrell said.
With all the opposition, and the threat of discrimination, is it worth for homosexual men and women to enlist?
“…At the end of the day its still the military, you either suck it up, shut up and deal with it, or leave,” Bishop said.
I am aware that there was a bit of derogatory language in some of the interview, but I want to make sure it is known that Aaron didn’t mean it in an insulting manor to anyone, he was just trying to illustrate a point. I also don’t believe in only reporting one side of a story. So I interview’d someone that was against the repeal of DADT, my brother Jeff. I understand that no one really wants to hear the negative side, but with all controversial issues, there is always two sides. A pro and a con. What side you are on depends on your views on the subject.