New, moving blogpost by Officer X on Time Magazine’s website about closeted military getting through the DADT years and waiting for the repeal. Very moving.
I can speak from personal experience when I say the day to day aversions and posturing are exhausting and stressful. I also know it can be difficult to ask for help. It’s vital to have some sort of an outlet to be yourself and a place you can feel safe. Here’s an example from a page out of my own life story when I was particularly low, but was able to seek help. Thanks to the great friends I have surrounded myself with, I was able to bounce back and come out on top.
It was the year I was in pilot training. I met Tom through a mutual friend who is also gay. We hit it off rather quickly, but I stayed guarded as he was moving to his follow-on assignment shortly thereafter. Despite my best efforts to keep from getting attached, I fell hard for him.
When he left, the hardest part was going back to work and keeping a straight face. I can remember being in my squadron’s cramped mission planning room, surrounded by my fellow student pilots who were getting ready to fly. I avoided eye contact with every one of them. Part of me desperately wanted nobody to talk to me, while the other half just wanted someone to figure me out and ask “what’s wrong?”
For the first time I got to experience what I think every American teenager goes through in high school when they go on their first date and get to just hold hands. The truth is it was the first time in my life I felt normal. I couldn’t help but think this whole being gay thing might work out. I might even wind up happy.