Hi everyone, Jaxx Steele here to give you my take on being gay in the military. I will not divulge which branch I was in, but I will give you a small peek at what I experience. By no means is this blog meant to be a ‘military bashing’ experience. This is only a politically correct retelling of my personal experiences.
During my time ‘in’ I learned what all other soldiers learned: to tolerate horrible food, build my stamina, shoot a variety of cool guns and how to tune out people that yell in your face. I also learned to conceal my true nature and that was the hardest thing I ever had to do.
I went in knowing, of course, about the ‘don’t ask-don’t tell’ but being young and naïve I thought that if I did that I would be fine. I soon found out that that was not the case. If someone even accused you of being gay whether you were or not didn’t matter. You were ostracized by everyone. In front of the brass and the suits all was well, but down time was another story.
I was not the only one on that side of the fence, but the heterosexuals out number us for sure. Even those who called themselves your friends would shun you fearful of being labeled the same and thus receiving the same treatment. I won’t go into detail on said treatment for fear that it could cause a psychotic like episode that would leave my left eye twitching for days. I will just say it was reminiscent of a few distasteful scenes in Full Metal Jacket.
Time moved on and even the emotional scars healed. Although I eagerly scratched each day off my mental calendar, I would not have changed my years in the service. The experience made me stronger mentally and physically and the man I am today. Even though the repeal of the DADT is on the books, I believe it will take time to affect the folks on the ground level of things and change to occur among the masses. I hope it doesn’t, but…
Recently, I wrote a story about a gay couple in the military called Care Package (available at Silver Publishing). The counselors they make you see when you are released may say writing this story was somehow therapeutic, but I say it was pure fun. LOL
First Sergeant Dwayne Roman was asked to leave his life as a soldier. Reluctantly he did so and settled fitfully into civilian life. The law of the land and a military cover up separated him from the most important person in his life. After suffering three years with regret and loneliness, he had the chance to get back what an unjust law and self-serving people took from him.
Jaxx Steele…has left the building!