Thursday evening I had a series of emails sent directly to my phone. I was out with some of the members of my squadron who do not know I’m gay, so as usual I held my phone in a way that didn’t allow the screen to be read by others. The emails all said certification of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was expected to occur on Friday, which is today.
When I get as happy as I did in the moment when I read those emails, I find the smiles are hard to hide… And then it hit me. The 60 day clock is ticking, and soon I won’t have to hide moments like this. I can smile and not have to worry or start thinking of cover stories in case someone asks me what I’m smiling about. “Oh my aunt just sent me this stupid email. It’s an inside joke.”
Today I am the same around my unit as I was yesterday. I did not attach a rainbow pride morale patch to my flight suit (the little ones pilots put on their pen pockets with catchy phrases or flags of their home state). Heck, I’m still not allowed to do that. However, the ball is in motion and moving toward the day when I can, and that ball will be hard to stop.
I am trying to picture how that first day after repeal will look. I am usually a very calculated person when it comes to matters like this, so I am working on my game plan. Right now I am thinking it will start out pretty normal, and as soon as someone asks me what I did over the weekend, for once it won’t be a lie or a half truth. It will probably be something to the effect of “my boyfriend and I went out and did X,Y,Z”.
Lucky for me, I still have 60 days to figure out the details.
- Officer X is a young, gay military officer who is currently serving on active duty despite the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on open service. He is a pilot and regularly flies throughout the world both in and out of combat. His views are his alone and do not reflect the opinions of the U.S. military, its branches, or any organization. Follow him on Twitter @TIMEOfficerX or email him TIMEOfficerX@gmail.com