Don’t Ask Don’t Tell ended on July 20 2011 and there were celebrations soldiers coming out to mark the day.
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times | 14445
Reporting from Washington and Raleigh, N.C.—When Air Force Staff Sgt. Jonathan Mills woke up Tuesday, he posted a pointed message on his Facebook page about the secret he has kept since he joined the military seven years ago. “I. Am. Gay. That is all. … as you were,” he wrote. Thus did Mills, 27, mark a milestone — the day America’s ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military ended, reports the LA Times.
Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images | 14446
After years of bitter debate, repeal of the 18-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” law went into effect at 12:01 a.m, making soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines free to declare their sexual orientation without risking being thrown out of the military. Many rushed to do so. The result was an outpouring of euphoria and relief that some compared to the end of racial segregation in the military in the 1950s or the admittance of women to the service academies in the 1970s.
Gregory Bull / Associated Press | 14447
Randy Phillips | Youtube | 14448
Randy Phillips, 21, was one such soldier silenced by the policy. Stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, he remained closeted but kept an anonymous log of his journey on YouTube – until Monday night. Phillips, showing his face for the first time to his viewers, posted a video documenting his coming out to his father – giving a rare insight into the bravery those like him possess.