"This has been a crossroads for me, whether to back down or to stand up for what I truly believe is my right as a human being. That my career, my abilities, my contributions, have nothing to do with my sexual orientation. Throughout the world, the only way change can be made is by someone stepping forth and exposing themselves so that people become aware that there are differences and that that's okay. So I choose to be here, to sit before you and my family, and be vulnerable, in the hopes that I can be a little bit of influence in making a change, in allowing us to serve as we have done in the past and will continue to do in the future."
I've always had some general respect towards people who serve in the military. It's more than just the uniform, it's the knowledge that they are the people who give up their freedom to protect their country and their people. Of course that's only speaking in general. I don't know anything about the military and I won't pretend I do.
I do believe in the integrity and good intention of Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer, though, when she admitted of being a lesbian in a routine security clearance interview. She had been serving for 26 years before that interview. She was a great soldier and had contributed a lot for her oountry. But in 1989 she was discharged from the military for being gay. The quote above was her testimony at her hearing. She was offered to resign quietly, but she refused and instead, she sued the army. Granted, I only watched the movie, "Serving in Silence" (starring Glenn Close and Judy Davis), but these words inspired me once again as 'Milk' did: "Throughout the world, the only way change can be made is by someone stepping forth and exposing themselves so that people become aware that there are differences and that that's okay." Ain't that true. I admire her honesty and I admire her courage to be the one to step forth and expose herself.
Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer is reinstated in the army in 1994 after a long court battle and she served a total of 31.5 years before her retirement in 1997. She retired with full military previleges.
"People ask, who are we? We are their daughters, their sisters, their sons, their nurses, their mechanics, their athletes, their police. We're your doctors, your fathers, your politicians, your soldiers, your mothers, your friends. We live with you, care for you, help you, protect you, teach you, love you, and need you. All we ask is that you let us."