I'm Gay | Kevin Gillespie | Military | News

A Gay Naval Petty Officer Comes Out: VIDEO

Gillespie

I was just introduced to this clip of Kevin Gillespie coming out of the closet, which he posted at the end of January, and it's about 20 minutes long, but it's a powerful look at the struggles, process, and relief felt by gay people (and in Gillespie's case, gay service members) who decide to come out.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

And congrats and thanks for your service, Kevin.

(and to the readers, apologies for earlier gaffes on his rank)

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Comments

  1. I'm pretty sure he isn't a Marine. The uniform is wrong. I think he is Navy.

    Posted by: lessthan | Mar 18, 2013 12:34:35 PM


  2. @lessthan - you are correct, he's in the navy, not a marine.

    Posted by: joe | Mar 18, 2013 12:41:42 PM


  3. I came across this video a couple weeks ago from the gay Marine Russ (with the boyfriend). He linked to this guy from his youtube page.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/russmarine2014/videos?view=0

    Posted by: will | Mar 18, 2013 12:44:15 PM


  4. God bless Kevin for coming out and helping others and saving lives, this is what a good man does, help others. I love you kevin for being honest and open, we should all be honest and open with each other. God did create us all equal, gay and straight. Keep fighting for LGBT Civil rights and freedoms. You are truly a proud and brave gay American. The FBI and CIA are anti-gay and you will be better off not being in that bunch of nuts. Keep up the good fight until all Americans can be free to marry the ones they love.

    Posted by: Dan | Mar 18, 2013 12:57:09 PM


  5. If he thought the 5 that told him they had a crush on him was a lot, wait till this gets spread around a little more. He's going to be beating them off...with a stick.

    You go boy!

    Posted by: Brandon h | Mar 18, 2013 1:03:47 PM


  6. @lessthan: He's in the U.S. Navy, a Petty Officer 2nd or 3rd Class (difficult to see his rank pins). I'm still not used to the new uniforms so it took me awhile. When I was in the service years ago only Chiefs and officers wore that kind of uniform.

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Mar 18, 2013 1:13:50 PM


  7. Congrats to him for taking this step, and heartfelt thanks for his service.

    Posted by: Geoff M | Mar 18, 2013 1:45:23 PM


  8. He's a Petty Officer, PO3. This is an enlisted rank, not an officer rank - it does not change the power of his statement, just wanted you to accurately describe him...

    Posted by: Kevin | Mar 18, 2013 2:11:07 PM


  9. It's a powerful statement of coming out and intent to be involved in gay rights. Quite a big change from someone who says not that long ago they had considered "a permanent solution to a temporary problem" because he couldn't NOT be gay, but he was afraid to be open.

    Posted by: Caliban | Mar 18, 2013 2:16:21 PM


  10. I think his video is wonderful and he's going to help more people then can imagine.

    Posted by: 1♥ | Mar 18, 2013 2:16:27 PM


  11. Ok... first the Marine gaff. (being a former Marine, that stung) Now promoting the guy to an "officer"? C'mon... guys. If you don't know the uniform or the rank, ask first.

    It's kind of a big deal.

    Thanks.

    Posted by: MickinDetroit | Mar 18, 2013 2:21:51 PM


  12. Pretty obvious from some of the comments that there are those who know nothing about Navy uniforms and ranks. The enlisted ranks only wear tan uniforms from the Chief PO level up. PO2 and PO3 never wear tan. And it is very clear that this man is a Naval Officer.

    Posted by: Pierre | Mar 18, 2013 2:33:57 PM


  13. You GO, Sailor Gillespie...!

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | Mar 18, 2013 2:48:56 PM


  14. I bet he has a hairy b-hole. And boy do I want some of that.

    Posted by: Francine | Mar 18, 2013 3:02:22 PM


  15. @Pierre: Take a look at the collar of the young man's uniform shirt. Those are definitely eagles. Given his young age and the size of the eagles, there's no way that they are Captain's eagles and no other Navy rank has eagles like that. Instead they are the "Crows" with 1 or 2 chevrons underneath (difficult to make out) which means that he is a Petty Officer 2nd or 3rd Class. It threw me at first too because when I was in only Chiefs and officers wore that color but the Navy has changed all of its uniforms, including for junior enlisted. This new Service Uniform replaces the old "Johnny Cash's" and "Ice Cream Suits" from the days when I was enlisted Navy. It doesn't look half bad either.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniforms_of_the_United_States_Navy#Junior_Enlisted_2

    Mostly though I'm glad they canned the gawd-awful "Prison Dungarees" working uniform, although the new cammies take some getting used to (look comfy I must say).

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Mar 18, 2013 4:17:36 PM


  16. I can see the rank, it is PO2.

    Posted by: lessthan | Mar 18, 2013 4:20:30 PM


  17. Well in this video he's wearing the new "cammies" working uniform:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jM2iHio1BYk

    He's apparently a Master-at-Arms and appears to be wearing the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist Badge as well as the Enlisted Expeditionary Warfare Specialist Badge.

    Definitely enlisted.

    My eyes must be failing me because I still can't make out whether he is a PO3 or PO2.

    He seems like a nice guy, hope he finds someone special.

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Mar 18, 2013 4:31:34 PM


  18. This is what Leonard Matlovich lived and died for. He paid freedom and courage forward into this young man.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Mar 18, 2013 7:10:34 PM


  19. Congratulations to this young man, grappling with something we all have had to do. He deserves all the happiness in the world.

    Kevin said "family is everything,"
    With all due respect to Kevin and his coming out journey, if his family doesn't accept them, then, they are not his "family" and he should have nothing to do with them.

    Family are with you, through thick and thin.

    Biological families are not the only families out there - gay men and lesbians often have to make their own when they are rejected.

    Posted by: Kevin-in-Honolulu | Mar 18, 2013 7:25:21 PM


  20. He is a Petty Officer Second Class (E5). Pierre, this is the new Navy Service Uniform, it is tan like the E7 and above uniform, but with black pants vice khakis. Thanks for getting it fixed towleroad. I am proud of him, its a big deal, no matter where you are in life. I too am an E5 in the Navy. I can relate to coming out at this point in life. The Navy occupies SO much of your time and energy, that it was very easy to use that energy in place of pursuing a relationship. Work hard, and Don't Ask Don't Tell. Even tho its been over a year since its repeal, it is kind of a long process to come out. Thanks for sharing.

    Posted by: Tony | Mar 18, 2013 8:57:52 PM


  21. @MickinDetroit: Hey Jarhead, this Navy Vet says you should be honored that he was mistaken for a Marine. LOL

    Posted by: andrew | Mar 18, 2013 11:15:58 PM


  22. Very powerful stuff. Levelheaded thinker- I think he has a bright future. I wish him all the best. (And if he's ever in Oak Park, IL he can call me, maybe?)

    Posted by: Rob | Mar 19, 2013 6:49:26 AM


  23. Who gives a crap? Coming out videos are so last century.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 19, 2013 10:41:54 AM


  24. My how far we've come, and how far we have to go.

    1st: The message. Not the messenger. I hope we are seeing the last of the emotional damage done when we are required to lie to our friends and colleagues. Only gay service people can really understand the turmoil created by having to either lie about who we are, or endanger our friends with knowledge about ourselves that they are required to report. When we come out we used to force our confidants into being "co-conspirators." This may sound over dramatic but it is accurate. Many of us were very tight lipped with who we would trust. Living a lie for so long and so tightly held is a prescription for paranoia.

    I'm amazed and grateful to all of the people who are evolving on this issue. It is only through the efforts of our allies that DADT finally fell.

    2nd: The uniform. Definitely a 2nd Class Petty Officer. The new enlisted uniform does look too much like a Chiefs uniform for my tastes, but it is light years better than the CRAP we were forced to wear in my day.

    3rd: Personal thank you to this Sailor. Bravo Zulu shipmate.

    Kelly Lape
    USN Retired.

    Posted by: Kelly L | Mar 19, 2013 11:05:57 AM


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