Gay Soldier Reveals What It’s Like to Come Out While in the Army

'I got more sh-t for being a New Yorker than I got for being gay.'

July 29, 2017 5:00 am

In the days following President Trump’s surprise declaration that transgender soldiers will no longer be allowed to serve “in any capacity” in the U.S. military, Mel Magazine featured an interview with an unnamed soldier who shared some personal insight into attitudes toward the LGBTQ community inside the U.S. Army.

The unnamed Army solider described his experiences coming out after he enlisted—right after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed—and the reactions that he got surprised him.

When he first came out to fellow soldiers in basic training: “The general reaction was nothing more than, “’Oh, that’s cool.’ That was it!” He continued: “Starting with that interaction, I came to find that the military, as a whole, was actually more socially progressive than society—I got more sh-t for being a New Yorker than I got for being gay.”

However, the soldier said this accepting attitude didn’t apply everywhere. When he came out at Advanced Individual Training (AIT), the soldier said one officer “completely changed” his attitude after finding out about the soldier’s sexual orientation.

“It’s nothing I can prove, but the stark difference in his demeanor and tone after he found out made the remainder of our interactions cold and awkward. At the end of the course, despite the fact that I had the highest GPA, I wasn’t recognized for it. My instructors fought on my behalf, but it didn’t amount to anything and I left feeling slighted.”

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