Why Go To The Naval Academy

First, the Equality Ride to the Naval Academy supports gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender midshipmen who are suffering silently in closets of fear. In going to the academy, we say to those closeted students, "we support you and salute your service."

Second, the Equality Ride to the Naval Academy creates a forum where GLBT issues can be discussed and debated by midshipmen. The Naval Academy commanders, who support "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell", do so because of a misplaced and insulting notion that the rank-and-file at the academy could not handle serving with openly GLBT servicemembers. In going to the Naval Academy, we challenge this notion head on by asking the midshipmen themselves, "Would serving with openly gay and lesbian servicemembers be problematic to executing your duties as a member of the Navy?"

Third, the Equality Ride to the Naval Academy continues a dialogue with the commanders of the Naval Academy. In going to the academy we say to those commanders, "It is only a matter of time before ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is left in the waste bin of history. Are you and the academy ready for the day when the ban is lifted? "

Fourth, the Equality Ride to the Naval Academy helps raise the public awareness of the suffering caused by "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." Current polls show that anywhere from 58% to 79% of Americans support allowing GLBT people to serve in the military openly. In going to the Naval Academy, we say to the public, "your desire to see the ban lifted has not become a reality and in order for change to come your action and advocacy is needed."

Fifth, and perhaps most importantly, the Equality Ride to the Naval Academy inspires us to do more in the fight for GLBT equality. By going to the academy we say to ourselves, "we will not let our humanity be demeaned without our protest."

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