DADT Repealed !!!

| December 21, 2010

Prevalent since the Clinton-era DYAD or Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy has contributed to fear and uncertainty in the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) soldier. The policy prohibits people who “demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts” from serving in the armed forces of the United States, because their presence “would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.” I recently took a class at TC which helped me understand the implications of such a policy on the individual and on the United States military as an organization.  The class explored the motivation involved in goal striving behavior and recognized entities in the system that supported the goal or prevented the goal. This exercise brought to the light the difficulty an LGBT soldier experiences with 1) pursuing a personal life with partner of choice 2) coming to terms with his/her sexual identity and 3) the conflict with pursuing the professional goal of being a soldier in the military. With DADT, the system, essentially the military, supports the professional goals of LGBT soldiers but little was being done to create affirmation towards supporting a goal of personal fulfillment for the soldier. With DADT repealed legal counsels and respective chain of command in the military are able reach out to these soldiers and acknowledge them for their identities and work with them to create balance for both goals to avoid trauma. Soldiers are no longer encouraged to report on their peers and friends with discrimination are addressed immediately. However, it would be naive to think that this is necessarily going to reduce discrimination (both professional and personable) towards the LGBT soldier.

I am curious to see how the next few steps of putting this bill to law will play into the life of the LGBT soldier and what can we do to make it better … from a change management perspective we have a propensity to divide issues into sub-goals and work through them… but even for this one I see a mountain of work ahead of us. In the mean time check out this book in the library or from ebrary, “Gays and the Military : Joseph Steffan vs. the United States” for further information.