If you’re an LGBT service member on Active Duty (and 18 or older), please consider participating in this study. You could even receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card (if you participate off-duty). Please check out the link (http://cir.usc.edu/MAPstudy) and contact me with any questions.
It’s not that I dress up to go to the gym–I’m really only there to work out. But I’m also well aware of the fact that people who are just at the gym to work out also look around at their fellow gym-goers, even if it’s just to say hello or ask if someone is done with a certain piece of equipment. When you go to the same gym all the time, you inevitably run into people you know. You get workout ideas from people around you. (I’m convinced that the reason there are so many mirrors in the gym is so you can look at people with a smaller chance of them realizing they’re being looked at.) So, because I am conscious of the fact that people will see me, and because I am not a caveman, I put a little effort into my gym attire. Today’s internal wardrobe debate came about because I happened across this shirt, and I stopped to contemplate whether I should wear it to the gym on base. Continue reading “Wearing my Pride”
My previous post included all the information I had to date on how I ended up on a permanent assignment without my husband Ben. I know that it is being used as a reference for people who want to help us, including people at the Pentagon who are working on this issue. A week later, I have no news except that the issue is still being worked on. As of this morning, it’s been 16 days since Ben had to leave Okinawa. His 90-day passport stamp was due to expire and he needed to leave to avoid violating Japanese immigration laws.
I’ve been posting on Facebook and Twitter lately about how many days it’s been since my husband, Ben, had to leave Japan despite having moved here with me in August when I was stationed here with the US Marine Corps. He entered Japan on August 2, 2013 on a tourist visa (90-day passport stamp), fully expecting to be allowed to stay indefinitely once he became a dependent under the Status of Forces Agreement (wiki link, full text) between the US and Japan. On October 26, 2013, he left Japan so he would not be here beyond the expiration of his passport stamp. I miss him so much, and although we are confident things will work out, they haven’t yet. Here’s some background info to bring you up to speed.
Today, on National Coming Out day, I thought I would share my thoughts and a bit of my own story. I came out to my friends and family in the summer of 1995, over 18 years ago, just after graduating from high school in Naperville, Illinois. It feels like such a long time ago, but it is a time I still carry with me, always fresh in my mind.
I’m so tired of hearing about anti-gay “conscience protections”. There was a time that the military provided safe-haven for racists who based their bigotry on deeply held personal and religious beliefs. Then President Truman issued an executive order that abolished racial discrimination and they were no longer allowed to be openly racist. There was a time when misogyny pervaded the military, and although we still do not have full gender equality, at least it isn’t acceptable to be openly sexist. Yet despite the broad public and Congressional support of repealing DADT, a Supreme Court decision repealing DOMA, and policies from the Department of Defense and individual service chiefs implementing open and equal service for gay and lesbian service members, it is still somehow acceptable for people to publicly state their opinions to the contrary and escape any accountability–indeed be granted legal protection–for doing so. I joined the military, not a church. I therefore don’t care what some churches have to say about my sexuality or my marriage. I don’t care what anyone else thinks about my sexuality. I do care when they expect a government-sponsored platform or pulpit from which to evangelize or proselytize their bigotry. As a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, I expect to be treated with dignity, professionalism, and respect. That anyone should even consider granting chaplains (or anyone else) the right to insult me or my family openly and publicly, be it in a chapel or an office, is not acceptable. It’s offensive and totally contrary to our nation’s and military’s values. Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
If you haven’t found it already, be sure to check out our wedding blog at benandmatthew.com. You can watch the ceremony online at Livestream. Please also consider donating to our Okinawa Fund to help us move to Okinawa together as the military still doesn’t recognize Ben and my husband and dependent.
Ben and I will be getting married in a few weeks and set up our Wedding Registry at MyRegistry.com. With our upcoming move to Okinawa, we don’t have much need for many things. We are, however, concerned about the cost of Ben moving to Okinawa with me, since the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prohibits the military from recognizing Ben as my spouse. That means Ben’s airfare, moving expenses, lodging, and medical will be on us. The expense will run into the thousands of dollars. If you’d care to contribute to help us meet these costs until DOMA is repealed, please visit our registry and consider donating to our Okinawa Fund. We will donate anything beyond the actual costs to continuing the fight for LGBT equality.