Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Day: Remembrance of Those Who Died Who are LGBTQ

Growing up in Maplewood, NJ, Memorial Day weekend usually included going to a parade either in our hometown or in New York City. Usually, my Dad would march in such a parade with his Air Force blue uniform on him. My Dad was an Air Force Reservist for over 30 years, having served in WWII as a translator, and then serving the Reserves doing work with the Civil Air Patrol. Instead of making it to the Eagle Scouts--like so many of my gay brothers--I went into Civil Air Patrol because of my love of flying, and hope of one day getting a pilot's license. That hope is still there.

On this day may we remember all the women and men who are LGBTQ who served this nation, whether in the closet or out, and who died in service to our country, or those who died having served this country in military service. While I am a "pacifist" (which is a loaded term that needs to be unpacked in so many ways), I understand the right to defend one's self and community as a right shared among many in this populace.

So is the right to be free to be who we are without fear of discrimination.

May those women and men who are or were LGBTQ, who defended the rights of this country, be honored by our securing the rights they fought to have while they were alive.



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