Memorial Day 2011 is finally here and I can’t help but wonder, are the sacrifices made by gay and lesbian service members somehow less valuable than those made by their straight colleagues? According to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ the answer is yes. To this very day, LGBT members of the armed forces are still being marginalized and dehumanized by this draconian policy.
If we are ever to truly call ourselves a fair and equal society, we need to ensure that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender active duty are able to serve their country without regard to their gender identity or sexual orientation. Until DADT is officially repealed, and LGBT service members are provided an environment of safety and respect in the military, Memorial Day will continue to stand as an exclusionary holiday in which we only celebrate, grieve, and honor the lives of certain soldiers.
This Memorial Day, show your support for actively serving LGBT military members and their families, by making a donation to OutServe, the largest underground network and resource group for LGBT active duty. As an organization, OutServe is paving the way for a future in which all members of the military are respected and valued for their service, without regard to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Andrew (AJ) is a vehement progressive, youth activist, and reproductive justice organizer. When he's not busy with the movement, you can usually find him dancing in the club or watching trashy reality tv.