Our Time: Breaking the Silence of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
On October 13th, 18 years of silence will be broken.
Our Time gives voice to the LGBT men and women who served under the Clinton Administration’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) policy, which began in December of 1993 and ended this week on September 20th. This policy prohibited any homosexual or bisexual person from disclosing his or her sexual orientation or speaking about any homosexual relationships while serving in the armed forces. Any soldier who disclosed that they were homosexual or engaged in homosexual conduct would be discharged immediately.
Our Time chronicles the stories of the brave men and women forced to give up their personal freedoms in order to be given the right to defend ours. Stories of abuse at the hands of fellow soldiers and superiors and the hardships faced by family members and loved ones are all too common.
During the eighteen years “don’t ask, don’t tell” was U.S. Military policy, more than 13,000 service members were discharged.
Author J.D. Smith is a co-founder and co-director of OutServe, an underground network of LGBT actively serving military personnel. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2009 in a top cadet leadership position. He was an invited guest to the presidential signing of the legislation to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell.”