A Letter From a Former Naval Academy Midshipman

Honor, Courage, Commitment, are the United States Navy’s core values. What do you do when your sexual orientation conflicts with these values? For me the process was most tedious being an African-American, ordained Baptist minister who was struggling with accepting my spirituality and sexual orientation while as a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy and experiencing my first love with the great nephew of a famous military general. The military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Harass, Don’t Pursue antigay ban robbed me of a very promising career. I was the top of my class and even President of the Class of 1998 for several years. I was made to leave because I acknowledged my homosexuality. The federal government then engaged me in a 3 year legal battle in order to recoup the $86,000 for my education. Through the very same core values of honor, courage, and commitment, I was victorious against the government. Through my own experience with the prejudice that is established by the military’s mandate, I am convinced that the ban is a lose-lose for everyone, first for the individual who must always live in conflict in the patriarchal hegemony and then to those that do submit to this code and adopt heterosexist ideals for the sake of career, God, and family. I contend that a policy of liberation of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t damn matter!" to assure that the American people are afforded the best and the brightest and surely the courageous, most honest, and committed are what we all want and deserve to be at the helm of our military.

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