We adapt, evolve, overcome

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jennilyn Hisola and Airman 1st Class Carletta Sanders
  • 341st Logistics Readiness Squadron
Before 1949, U.S. Armed Forces personnel caught engaging in homosexual conduct were often court-martialed and received a dishonorable discharge. Whether or not one believes that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender are choices; we can all agree that joining the military was.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed a law instituting the policy commonly referred to as "Don't ask, don't tell" which allowed gay, lesbian, and bisexual people to serve as long as they did not reveal their sexual orientation. We all took the same oath: To support and defend the constitution of the United States of America.

Serving in the military hasn't always been easy for members of the LGBT community.

In 2010, two federal courts ruled the ban on openly homosexual service members as unconstitutional, and on July 6, 2011, a federal appeals court suspended the DADT policy. We went from not being able to serve, to being able to serve and not be open, to now being able to show our true selves and serve proudly. June has now been declared LGBT month.

While transgendered (those who identify with a gender other than their biological one) can't openly serve in the military, we've come a long way and I don't think any of us will stop until we fully have equal rights. We will continue to fight for the rights we so rightfully deserve. We adapt, evolve and overcome because that's what we've been trained to do and our personal lives aren't excluded from this at all.

LGBT will have a booth at the annual Multi-Cultural Fair this September. Feel free to stop by and ask questions or get information on the LGBT community. While we are only two individuals from this broad community, we plan to discuss all aspects of it. We can share what we've learned, who we are as individuals and what obstacles we've overcome.