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38 West Point Grads Come Out of the Closet in Show of Force

The Navy Times reports on Knights Out, a group of 38 graduates of West Point, who came out of the closet yesterday and offered to serve as liaisons between alumni and Army administrators as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is in the process of being repealed as well as a support group for LGBT US Military Academy active duty alumni, cadets, and their families:

Choi "'We’re publicly announcing our sexuality, our orientation,' said 1st Lt. Dan Choi, a National Guardsman with the 1st Bn., 69th Infantry, based in Manhattan. 'It’s just one part of who we are in saying that we are standing to be counted.' In forming Knights Out, its 38 members are following the example of similar support and education groups formed by graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy, known respectively as USNA Out and Blue Alliance. Most if not all of these groups’ members also belong to the Service Academy Gay and Lesbian Alumni social network, a group that Knights Out claims includes some active-duty commanders serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Choi, a Korean by descent, is a combat veteran of Iraq who graduated from West Point in 2003 with a degree in Arabic language. He said his unit is aware that he’s a homosexual and added, 'I’m very comfortable with all the repercussions right now. To me, it’s about doing the right thing, not about trying to fit into the process that gets you the rank or prevents you from getting a discharge. If that’s the repercussion, I’m ready to take it,' he said. 'I think it’s more important that I let everybody know that … it is a wrong policy.' Choi said the group has contacted West Point leadership and gotten “a very warm response.” An academy spokesman couldn’t confirm that assertion, noting that today was the first day of West Point’s spring break and that the campus was nearly empty."

Congrats to them on their powerful show of force.

Knights Out [official site]
West Point Grads Form Gay Support Group [navy times]

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Comments

  1. Brave, moral, and true; to themselves, their community, and their country. America's finest.

    Posted by: rudy | Mar 17, 2009 8:11:49 AM


  2. This is awesome but I've very concerned for them as DADT is still in effect and they could end up jeopardizing their careers/benefits/status. :( But major kudos to them for their #ShowOfCourage

    Posted by: Peter C. Frank | Mar 17, 2009 8:26:55 AM


  3. How many graduates in TOTAL were there from West Point? Was this like, 38 cadets out of 1000?

    Posted by: amknyc | Mar 17, 2009 9:19:41 AM


  4. It seems this kind of leadership will make a difference in turning the tide. Best of luck with this fight.h

    Posted by: Scott | Mar 17, 2009 9:25:57 AM


  5. I applaud these guys for their courage and willingness to put themselves through this sort of public scrutiny. The more military and even ex-military gay/lesbian folks who come out of the closet, the less anyone can say that homosexuality is incompatible with service.

    Posted by: sparks | Mar 17, 2009 9:35:08 AM


  6. Congratulations to them! Such courage, conviction and selflessness is what starts all revolutions. Perhaps more acts like this -- from all corners -- will finally get this country to change. The wave is about to hit the beach.

    Posted by: JTlvr | Mar 17, 2009 9:54:07 AM


  7. As a former Navy Corpsman I am proud of my service to my country! I am however not happy with my country's service to ALL its citizens in particular the GLBTT members who have served with distinction and honor! In the words of Sgt. Leonard Matlovich***, "they gave me a medal for killing a man and a discharge for loving one!" - that says it all!!
    ***http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Matlovich

    Posted by: alex in boston | Mar 17, 2009 10:50:41 AM


  8. BRAVO to them!

    Everyone that comes out advances the issue. I attended the anti DADT rally at the US Capitol Friday and SLDN's annual dinner Saturday night, and momentum is definitely rapidly rising.

    However, the ONLY thing that is finally going to result in the end of the ban on gays in the military is President Obama PERSONALLY lobbying Congress for repeal with the same passion he has argued for the stimulus package, health care, etc.

    Write, call the White House and say:

    "Mr. President, it's time to tell Congress: if Don't Ask, Don't Tell is not wrong, nothing is wrong!"

    Michael Bedwell
    www.leonardmatlovich.com

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Mar 17, 2009 10:53:33 AM


  9. Well there are some heroes left in this world.

    Posted by: Ted | Mar 17, 2009 10:57:38 AM


  10. Michael bedwell

    I second that

    BRAVO!

    Posted by: Jimmyboyoy | Mar 17, 2009 11:11:59 AM


  11. good for them. :-)

    Posted by: liz templin | Mar 17, 2009 2:16:05 PM


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