Military Prepares for ‘DADT’ Coming Out Day

the military publication Stars and Stripes today talks about what will happen with closeted servicemembers once the ban is lifted at the end of September, and interviews a few of them anonymously about whether they will some out or not:

Outserve When the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law is repealed next month, gay troops will be able to serve openly without fear of dismissal for the first time in U.S. military history.

But whether most will come out or keep their personal lives secret remains unclear. Gay troops’ careers will no longer be threatened by law, but many worry that the macho culture of the military might not be fully ready for those revelations.

And when that day comes, the troops will have something to read:

OutServe Magazine will hit store shelves at Army and Air Force bases on Sept. 20, the day the Pentagon plans to formally end enforcement of the “don’t ask, don'tI tell” policy that bans gays from serving openly.

The publication is published by OutServe, a group of secretly gay active duty service members that says it has hundreds of members currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The magazine, which began publishing in the spring, is currently available in limited supply at some public meeting areas and military physicians offices, the group said.


  1. Dan Cobbb says

    To all gay and bi-sexual military personnel:

    Please DO NOT “come out” after the repeal of DADT unless you absolutely have to. Why? because the Republicans are coming, and they may control Congress and the Presidency in the coming years. Some of the GOP presidential candidates have already stated that they think it is WRONG to repeal DADT and some of them even want to go back further in time to the point where all gays are witchhunted right out of the military.

    Remember! This is just a law that is being repealed. It can be reinstated in a heartbeat. And you can’t go “back into the closet”. If you’re out, you’re out. If the GOP changes the law to where gays are required to be drummed out of the service, you will be drummed out of the service once they gain power.
    Be smart.

  2. justinw says

    If a service man or woman is smart, they won’t say anything out of the ordinary. It’s already obvious to the people they work with… at least the ones who care to know. It’ll all come out into the open at some point – no need to rush it now that DADT is going to be (unpleasant, unmissed) history.

  3. says

    The law was partially repealed by the Ninth Circuit last month. Gay troops have been able to come out since then. What happens on the 20th is the ability of gay people to openly enlist.

    And Dan is only partially correct. Republicans will try, but fail, to reinstate the law. But we have three angry justices at the Ninth Circuit who will be itching to extend their order if that happens. Come out guys, stop living in fear…we will take care of you.

  4. BobN says

    “Be smart.”

    Uh… you think the GOP would be able to reinstate DADT faced with the reality of tens of thousands of out gay service members?

    The best way to prevent them from doing so is to come out, not to hide.

    People should come out when and if they want, not because of “smart” advice about dire consequences that aren’t going to happen.

  5. says

    For anyone who genuinely fears that the ban could be reinstated in the futur, there’s a solution: contact the White House & ask the President to stop FIGHTING and ENDORSE the LCR case ruling that the ban is unconstitutional as he has DOMA cases he used to fight. If it were upheld, neither a future Prez or Congress could bring it back. TEL: 202-456-1414 or you can send them an online message at:

    The S&S article reflects that coming out in the military post repeal is even more complicated than in civilian life. Research shows that relatively few did after other countries lifted their bans, and in U.S. police & fire departments with nondiscrimination policies. BUT we should encourage as many to as possible, and give them the moral and legal support they need. [They still will not have the same protections against discrimination in assignments, promotions, etc., that other groups in the military have.

    Finally, so-called OutServe’s magazine is going to have to radically improve from its current error-filled and gutless editions to be anything more than an amaturish historical novelty. They often sound like shills for the Pentagon rather than advocates for gay service members, refusing to take a stand against the Pentagon’s refusal to give gays in the military the same job protections they do others, and wrongly claiming that DOMA prevents gay couples living in military family housing when the Pentagon has repeatedly admitted it does NOT but that they are CHOOSING to prevent it because it would allegedly be “unfair” to straight unmarried couples. READ: because they don’t want to offend recalcitrant homohaters.

    That’s ANOTHER thing to contact the White House about as the President has the authority to ORDER them to.

  6. Randy says

    “Gay troops’ careers will no longer be threatened by law”

    That’s not entirely true. The failure to treat LGB (and T) troops the same as black and Muslim troops with the same protections sends a clear message that it is OK to discriminate.

    Further, DOMA reinforces this by discriminating against LGB troops with same-sex partners. This second more explicit signal is a reminder that it is OK to discriminate against LGB troops.

    And why is there still a military sodomy law, against consensual same-sex sexual activity? This should be covered under the same law as opposite-sex activity. This is yet another message that it’s OK to discriminate against LGB troops.

    Then there’s all those who were discharged and financially penalized under DADT. How are they being made whole?

  7. LFB says

    @Dan That is an absolutely outrageous argument. The gay rights movement has not gotten anywhere by cowering in fear and wetting itself over “what if.” There’s no need for fanfare, surely, but by allowing themselves to be open, LGBT troops will be making a show of strength that will cement their right to serve and reinforce it against right-wing attack.

    @Randy The DADT repeal is only the first step. It will still be a battle to secure true equality for LGBT troops, but now that the greatest resistance is passed, the way is open to secure full equality, not only in the military, but for the whole country.

  8. Danny says

    The next thing on the agenda is to give murderers, rapists, animal lovers, and pedophilists equal rights. ‘Cause you know they did not choose to be what they are. I’m in the military and am a recruiter, but none of you cum suckers have linned up to enlist, and I work in a very liberal city, but none of you would get qualified any way. The only reason any of you lust after men is cause you got rejected by your moms, girl friends, and seduced by dirty old men. i read that in a very recent article a couple of weeks ago.