Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 13, Ed. 1 Friday, August 12, 2011 Page: 20 of 56
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
From Page 19
said. "I got to know who I am. Before I went in, I
didn't even know what gay meant."
Because of his service, Moore receives govern-
ment assistance toward his education. But be-
cause of D ADT, he said he's only receiving half of
what others who completed even a two-year hitch
Moore hopes that those who are in the service
are careful about coming out. Just because it's
legal, does mean coming out will necessarily be
safe. He said he wonders if the woman he told
had changed her attitude.
"She knows what she did," he said, "and she'll
have to live with it."
Jeremy Johnson of Maryland served in the
Navy and came out to his commanding officer in
2007 after realizing there was no way to success-
fully juggle his private life and his professional
life in the military as long as he remained clos-
"I was under a whole lot of pressure being in
the service in a position of leadership," Johnson
said. "I was under scrutiny.:"
While some commanders would immediately
start trying to discharge someone who came out,
Johnson said his commander instead started
looking for ways to keep him in the Navy
"He told me, 'I think things will change if
you'll just hang on/" Johnson recalled.
Because his command needed him, "Techni-
cally, they could keep me," Johnson said. But he
was discharged anyway, after 10 years of service.
After leaving the Navy, Johnson worked for a
year as a contractor in the same position he left.
In August 2008, he went back to school fulltime
and now has one year left to complete his degree
at University of Maryland.
He also works at The Palm Center, which does
research on sexual minorities in the military.
Now, four years after he was discharged, John-
son is exploring the possibility of re-enlisting.
"I'm looking to go back as a reservist," he said.
"I have half my career in."
One setback is that there is currently no room
for him to return at his former level.
"They have allotments of how many can be in
a job at a pay grade," Johnson said. "They're at
104 percent and won't take me."
He said that the military used to allow some-
one to drop a pay grade when they re-enlisted,
but no longer.
Once he has his degree, Johnson said he would
put together an officer package and if the Navy
cannot accommodate him, he may find an oppor-
tunity in the Army or National Guard.
Johnson believes one thing brought down
DADT — Facebook, which allowed gay and les-
bian troops to connect.
"Every time you transfer, you have toseek out
the gay underground," he said. "On one base,
there might be fractured circles."
He said that Facebook led to social media
specifically for those in the military like OutServe
and OutMilitary.com. As more gay and lesbian
service members met, they also organized.
Justin Elzie agrees that without the Internet,
anti-DADT protests like those at the White House
last year that led to the arrest of Lt. Dan Choi as
well as GetEqual activist Mark Reed-Walkup of
Dallas would not have happened.
And Elzie said he believes those demonstra-
tions were instrumental in bringing an end to
Elzie was the first person dismissed from the
Marine Corps under DADT.
He had already served 10 years in 1993 when
President Bill Clinton came into office after
pledging during his campaign to issue an execu-
tive order allowing gays and lesbians to serve
openly. And Elzie was ready to announce that he
was gay as soon as that executive order was is-
But Congress derailed Clinton's plan, forcing
him into a compromise that came to be known as
"don't ask, don't tell." Under this new congres-
sionally-mandated rule, gays and lesbians could
serve in the military as long as they stayed deeply
closeted. And while military leaders could still
discharge someone for being gay, they weren't
supposed to go around asking about service-
members' sexual orientation unless they had
But Elzie, who had served in Operation Desert
Storm in Iraq, made his announcement on ABC
"I was pretty na'ive back then," Elzie said re-
cently. But his naivete aside, he knew he was put-
ting his military career on the line when he came
out: Before he came out, the commandant of the
Marine Corps made news by announcing that
there were no gay or lesbian Marines. Elzie could-
n't let that lie stand.
"I just couldn't stand by and not say a thing,"
Elzie had planned at the time to stay in the mil-
itary just three more months. But with his an-
nouncement, the Marine Corps held an
administrative hearing and discharged him. So he
sued and won, a move that kept him in the service
for four more years while the case progressed.
In the early days of DADT, there were some
legal successes; Elzie was among them. He lined
up character witnesses and put together a brief
detailing his: successful military record, and the
court ordered the Marine Corps to reinstate him.
During those four extra years, Elzie was recom-
mended for promotion twice. Both times, the Pen-
tagon refused to allow him to be promoted and in
1997, he was forced out of the service.
"They wanted to make an example of me,"
What happens now
Log Cabin Republicans in 2004 filed a federal
lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of
DADT, claiming that the policy violates the first
and fifth amendments. Federal court Judge Vir-
ginia Phillips ruled in Log Cabin's favor in Oc-
tober 2010 and issued an injunction against the
Now that DADT is going away, what will
all those straight service members do who
have to share showers with the gay guys?
Dave Guy-Gainer said that the old Gomer
Pyle-style barracks simply don't exist
anymore. Instead, he said, most service
members on base live in apartments or
dorm-style housing with private showers.
Gay Air Force veteran Michael Moore —
discharged under DADT with plans to re-
enlist — agreed. "The only time we shared a
shower was in basic" training, Moore said.
He said that when he entered the Air
Force, he was the youngest in his unit, and
— at 6 feet 5 inches — the tallest. He said
he felt like he always stuck out anyway, so
he never lingered in the shower.
"You got in and you got out. I was always
afraid of getting yelled at and didn't have
time to look around," Moore said. "But I
think the straight guys did — and they
policy — an injunction that was promptly
stayed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The appeals court lifted the stay in July this
year, saying the Justice Department has been
unable to meet the legal standard needed to jus-
tify keeping it in place. Despite the fact that Con-
gress repealed DADT last December and the
repeal has since been: certified, formal argu-
ments for the appeal in the Log Cabin case are
set for Aug. 29.
Elzie said that he believes the ruling last Oc-
tober in the Log Cabin lawsuit forced the
Obama administration and Congress to repeal
DADT. And he hopes the case continues
through the courts despite the repeal, because
he said he sees a difference between the judicial
proceedings and the congressional repeal.
"The repeal says we can serve," he said. "The
Log Cabin case says we're equal," Elzie clarified,
adding that while the repeal of the law will
eventually change attitudes in society and in the
military, the change won't come easy. Anti-gay
commanding officers, he noted, will likely con-
tinue to make life hard for gays and lesbians
under their command.
Having openly gay and lesbian people in the
military will inevitably effect change in the
larger society, Elzie suggested, because when
people from less progressive areas of the coun-
try '-serve together with gays and lesbians who
are both open and professional, they will carry
that experience back home with them after their
North Texan Dave Guy-Gainer, a gay military
veteran now on the board of Servicemembers
Legal Defense Network, has long been one of
those in the trenches in the fight to get rid of
DADT. What does he think will happen on Sept.
20 when repeal is complete and DADT is finally
laid to rest: "Massive hurricanes, disastrous
floods and violent tornados."
Then again , Guy-Gainer said, probably noth-
ing will happen, and all that will be different is
the military will not be wasting time and money
throwing out well-trained personnel. ■
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Newspaper.
Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 13, Ed. 1 Friday, August 12, 2011, newspaper, August 12, 2011; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239180/m1/20/: accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.