Thursday, August 16, 2012

Perfect ten hut

A lot of kind of gayish things happened this past week. Miley Cyrus got an alternative lifestyle haircut. Gillian Anderson said she only did that alternative lifestyle thing that once. And Anderson Cooper’s boyfriend took alternative to mean additional when he was caught kissing some other guy in Central Park. But amid the frivolous flotsam that keeps things fun, was one very significant event.

The United States Armed Forced promoted its very first openly gay general. Twenty-six year Army veteran Tammy Smith was promoted to brigadier general, making her the first general to come out while still serving. Her wife, Tracey Hepner, pinned her star onto her uniform in a private ceremony at Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery last Friday.

Smith told NPR Talk of the Nation that the she felt “full, authentic and complete performing that ceremony with my family.” She said before the repeal she was forced to compartmentalize her professional and personal lives, a not-so-neat trick so many of us are terribly familiar with. Tracey didn’t attend events with her before. Now she does.

This moment was, of course, brought to us directly by the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the policy that forced had previously our brave military men and women to serve in silence. Think about that when folks get apathetic about voting this November. Those two rich white guys with names who start with R both very much want to bring back “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – in addition to various other parts of the Stone Age.

Of course, some folks will say what’s the big whoop? This is just another soldier being promoted for hard work and faithful dedication. Others will say it isn’t enough. This is just show because while Tracey was able to publicly attend the ceremony, she still won’t be eligible to receive her wife’s military benefits. All of this is true. But there is always a first and it will always be important. There is value and strength being reminded that we are everywhere and are capable of doing everything. May there be many more out generals and may there be more steps toward full equality. A grateful nation thanks you, Brig. Gen. Smith.


sarcofugus said...

Amen to that. May this be the beginning of many more to come. *salutes*

Carmen SanDiego said...

Die DOMA die!