NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.
I wonder if we're going to be starting with the military? I also would like to point out that I haven't seen any LGBT celebrations this month. Usually the military celebrates whatever month it is with some kind of party and speakers. I suspect June is going to be rather low-key.
President Obama mentions in his proclamation his support for ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security.
Now, I have long been a supporter of ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I grew up in NYC, and never really thought much about someone's sexuality. But I've been, to be honest, a fairly passive supporter.
A good friend of mine and fellow IVAW member, Jen Hogg, brought to me a point I hadn't considered: that the way I felt being politically repressed is much the way many gay people serving in the military feel about Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I thought about it, and realized that she was somewhat right-sometimes I feel absolutely bursting to talk about my political opinion. But after a little more reflection, I realized she just wasn't right enough. I'm pretty sure I talk about the guy I'm romantically involved with, at least in passing, more than I talk about my political opinion.
So, in honor of LGBT month, I'm going to do an experiment for the week. I'm going to carry around a little notepad, and every time I mention one of the following to a military person or civilian contractor working for the military, I'm going to make a tickmark.
1) The fact that I like men and find them attractive.
2) The name of the guy I'm involved with.
3) Any shared commiserations about men
I'm going to keep a separate notepad for all the times I either talk about my politics concerning Iraq, or am tempted to do so but choose not to.
I strongly suspect that at the end of the week, the first notepad will wind up being larger, but we'll see.