Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

7 Years After Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: NCLR and GLAD Joint Statement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 20, 2018 Contacts: Lauren Gray, NCLR lgray@nclrights.org / (215) 983-3099 Amanda Johnston, GLAD ajohnston@glad.org / (617) 417-7769 NCLR and GLAD, the LGBTQ Legal Organizations Leading the Fight to Stop the Trump-Pence Trans Military Ban, Joint Statement on 7 Years Since...


President Obama Presents Economic Blueprint

Tonight, President Obama gave his third State of the Union address, which focused on building a lasting economic recovery. For the first time in our nation’s history, two out lesbians—Air Force Colonel Ginger Wallace and Lorelei Kilker—were among the select group invited to attend the speech as guests of First Lady Michelle Obama. Wallace is an Air Force intelligence officer who served in the Iraq war. When she was recently promoted to her current rank, her partner participated in her official...


Part 11: The Repeal: No One Left Behind

By Huong T. Nguyen NCLR Guest Columnist Saturday, December 18, 2010. It’s 8:30 a.m., and I am still in bed. I hear footsteps hurriedly coming up the stairs. My bedroom door slams open, and a big mass lands on my body. Thromp! I open one eye and see my earnest 5-year-old son, Rowan, staring intently down at me. He whispers, “Mommy, wake up, they are voting to move the bill. ~~~ It’s only been three hours since I succumbed to sleep. I was keeping a vigil. I had a crazy idea that the repeal of...


“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal Marks New Era

Tomorrow, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the discriminatory nearly two-decade old policy that bars lesbian, gay, and bisexual people from serving openly in the military, will officially be repealed tomorrow. Watch this video for my take on this historic day. Then, read the blog entry by Huong Nguyen, who last year chronicled her personal story about how “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” changed the course of her life. And you don’t want to miss NCLR Federal Policy Director Maya...


Finale: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: In the Olden Days

By Huong T. Nguyen NCLR Guest Columnist At the beginning of this school year, Rowan, my 6-year-old son, held court in his first-grade class about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). The unprompted conversation with his classmates went something like this: Rowan: My mom was in the military. Classmates: Really? Rowan: Yeah, but she was kicked out because she was gay. (His peers gathered around to hear his tale.) One classmate: No, I don’t believe you! Rowan: No, really, I saw her uniform! In the...


Part 10: There’s A Place for Us

By Huong T. Nguyen NCLR Guest Columnist Year: 2010 The girl became my wife. Sixteen years after we first met, Alison and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and are proud parents of two wonderful boys. Two years ago, we were legally married in her parents’ backyard, surrounded by our closest friends and family. We had the unique joy of sharing that milestone with our children. ~~~ In 1997, the military discharged me without any characterization—meaning, neither honorable nor dishonorable....


Part Nine: The Story

By Huong T. Nguyen NCLR Guest Columnist Whoa! That’s my life, not news. Don’t print it. But the school newspaper reporter argues: “We’re going to, with or without your consent. Your story is important to the debate about ROTC’s presence on campus in view of the school’s nondiscrimination policy.” Okay, I’ll give you the story, but I need some time to tell my family first. ~~~ How can I tell my Vietnamese family that their daughter is gay AND an utter failure? One or the other would be hard...


Part Eight: The Trial

By Huong Nguyen NCLR Guest Columnist Year: 1995 I’m at my Army Reserve unit, in a windowless, closet-sized conference room. The walls are painted mustard yellow. The florescent lights, unnaturally bright. A small, government-issued table, with four chairs, sits in the middle of the room. I’m in a chair facing the door. I don’t want anyone to approach me from behind. I’m in fight mode. It started a month ago. I can recall the events with a searing clarity.  ~~~ There is a movie scene in “A Few...


Part Seven: The Truth Will Set You Free

By Huong T. Nguyen NCLR Guest Columnist Year: 1995 After an hour and a half of grilling me about my relationship with a male cadet, the major allows me to leave. “Aaarrrggghhh!” I let out a roar from the depths of my soul. I’m crazy mad and full of adrenaline. I want to bite the major’s head off, chew it up, and spit it on the ground. The bastard! How could he do that to me? I have worked so hard for this place. When I get back to my dorm room, the girl is there. One look at me, and she keeps...


Part Six: No Air

By Huong T. Nguyen NCLR Guest Columnist Year: 1995 My American dream is turning into a nightmare. I’m sitting in a major’s office, being grilled about an alleged “interpersonal problem” with a male cadet. A few days ago, that cadet and I had a knock-down, drag-out argument in front of the entire battalion. It was over his refusal to follow orders to prepare for a field training exercise. I couldn’t let his challenge of my authority go unchecked in front of everyone. But that’s insubordination,...


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