Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ends in the U.S. as YouTube Gay Soldier coming out video goes viral...

YouTube's Gay Soldier: 'Never Thought I'd Be So Comfortable' - ABC News

Yesterday marked the official end to the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy in the American armed forces. Now, finally, LGB soldiers in the U.S. army can be open about themselves without fear of being fired. (I leave out the 'T' from LGBT because the ban on transgendered soldiers still remains.) To mark the occasion, 21-year-old U.S. soldier Randy Phillips took the opportunity share his experience of coming out to his own father via YouTube.

Here's an ABC news story on Phillips, which makes mention of his many anonymous videos also posted on YouTube under the handle "AreYouSurprised," in recent months leading up to yesterday.

"It feels great. It's nice not having to look over your shoulder or worry about who you are talking to," Phillips told ABC News the day after "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was officially repealed. "I never thought I'd be so comfortable with it. It's very supportive. Everybody's been so great."

A heartfelt congratulations to all of those who can now continue to live their lives openly. I hope this trend continues for those still suffering from discrimination in the U.S. armed forces. I also want to congratulate Phillips in particular for his leadership and bravery, both for joining the air force in the first place, as well as sharing this life-changing moment with all of us.

Many LGBT people fear the moment when they finally come out to parents. It's beautiful to see Phillips' father's almost nonchalant response as well as his pledge to 'always love' his son.

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