Friday, August 22, 2008

Out of the Closet

Most people are aware of the don’t ask don’t tell policy that pertains to homosexuals as implemented through the direction of then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell during the Clinton Administration. What they are unaware of is that this policy has also been applied de facto to Democrats whenever a political discussion arises among the ranks.

For three years now I have stood silent on politics, unwilling to express my personal views while on duty. Just as the gay men and women who have served by me, I have disguised myself so that I blend in with everyone around me. As a member of a very small minority of Democrats serving in the military, I have refused to give my opinions out of fear that I may be exposed as a traitor. With Democrats being so taboo, my affiliation with the party feels less like a badge of honor and more like a scarlet letter.

Since I have entered the service I have indeed felt out of place. I am often surrounded by more conservative Republicans then I would ordinarily share company with in my private time. Although I can attest to their patriotism and friendship, I can no more support their political views then I can turn my back on my own party. And for that reason I have decided to come out of the closet.

Being called a liberal doesn’t bother me. In the media us “liberals,” are portrayed as careless, financially irresponsible and obscene hippies who don’t want to protect our borders. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, I view a true liberal as someone who cares for people, things and beliefs above themselves and accepts a higher calling that extends beyond that of financial gain. And while I prefer the term “progressive” I’m more than willing to put myself out there and accept that label.

Now more then ever I know that I can no longer sit on the sidelines while my fellow service members attack the very beliefs and candidates that I support. Many people’s views are the way they are because very rarely do they ever hear or entertain a counter argument. It’s time for me to stop hiding my true colors (blue) and let everyone around me know that there’s no need to be ashamed of being an Obama supporter. Sure, he’s a left wing, liberal, minority Democrat…and then again, so am I.