"As 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' comes to an end, we sent Chris Heath to interview dozens of gay servicemen from the past and present to find out what life was really like as America's military struggled with its last great identity crisis."
Our servicemembers will finally be able to serve openly, with integrity. And in celebration of one of our Nation’s historic moments, OutServe Magazine is publishing something very special – something that has not been done before in the entire history of our Nation’s military: almost a hundred actively serving military members are coming out in this next issue! After centuries of serving in the shadows, we are stepping forward and publicly expressing our commitment to our country and a commitment to our values of integrity, openness, and equality for everyone … page after page featuring pictures, bios and duty stations of the LGBT men and women who have finally been given a voice by their Nation.
[T]he upcoming September 20th Repeal Issue of the magazine will honor the gay, lesbian, and bisexual men and women who have proudly served their nation by featuring pictures and bios of nearly 100 OutServe members.
“This marks an incredible time in the history of our military. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual servicemembers once had to conceal their true identities. By featuring their pictures and their stories, we are signaling that time has passed. It is time for these military members to be honored for their extraordinary commitment and sacrifice in defense of our country,” said JD Smith, co-director of OutServe who goes by a pseudonym while DADT is still in effect.”
“OutServe Magazine will continue to expand over the next few months as DADT ends and we enter a new proud era of military history,” said J. Mills, executive editor of the magazine. “We cannot adequately express our gratitude to the military community and distributors who have been very supportive of OutServe Magazine.”
• 73 percent of military personnel are comfortable with lesbians and gays (Zogby International, 2006).
• Majorities of weekly churchgoers (60 percent), conservatives (58 percent), and Republicans (58 percent) now favor repeal of DADT (Gallup, 2009).
• 75 percent of Americans support gays serving openly - up from just 44 percent in 1993 (ABC News/Washington Post, 2008).
• In 1993, RAND Corp. concluded that openly gay people in the U.S. military do not negatively impact unit cohesion, morale, good order or military readiness. An update of this study should be completed in the next 90 days.
• Several other military-commissioned and GAO studies have concluded that open service does not undermine military readiness, troop morale or national security.
• Today, there are at least 66,000 gay Americans serving on active duty and one million gay veterans in the United States, according to the Urban Institute.*
Additional research and polls.
"You’ve heard the threats -- about how gay men in the shower might bring down the U.S. military with a wink, a pinch, or a flick of a wet towel. But where’s the truth in that? What’s it really like to serve alongside gay and lesbian service members?"
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