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.
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.
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.
When I’m transferred to Okinawa this summer, Ben will come along, but at our expense because the Defense of Marriage Act prohibits him from being listed officially as my spouse or dependent. We filmed this video a couple months ago for Freedom to Marry to talk about how DOMA affects us.
[Update: a version of this letter was published in the Marine Corps Times, 15 April 2013.]
Serving my country as a United States Marine has been and continues to be the greatest privilege and honor of my life. In just a few short months my commitment to defending our nation will take me to my next duty station in Okinawa, Japan. I have a lot to do between now and then, not the least of which is graduating from Expeditionary Warfare School at Marine Corps University, but no doubt my personal priority is getting married to the love of my life, Ben. Continue reading “Why DOMA needs to go… Now.”