There have been many news segments lately that pertain to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” phenomenon that says military officials cannot ask a person about their sexual orientation, but if the member of the organization does anything that shows their orientation, they could get discharged our face other consequences. This topic came up in an article about a transgender woman, who lived a struggling closeted life in the military. It would be hard for a transgender to live an everyday life in our society, but being in the military would be even more of a burden.
According to the article, harassment is a huge issue among military members. This does not necessarily mean all harassment is about different sexual orientations or behaviors, but about race and gender as well. This is difficult for me to understand because I have always thought of the military as being a place where people become equal. They are all taught to stand a certain way, walk a certain way, speak at the same time, and wear the same uniform. I considered the military to be about discipline and uniformity, not about the societal pressures and expectations that people experience daily. My brother was in the military and though he is a straight white male himself and never experienced harassment, his African American friend did (Sandeen).
We as Americans like to think of ourselves and good and accepting people, but in reality we could care less especially when someone is different than us. These thoughts develop awkward and unnecessary problems. For example, the article explains that Autumn Sandeen, the author and character described was accused of being a gay male that sexually harassed other males, but was actually the one being sexually harassed about it, also claiming that he divorced his wife so he could be gay. This in my opinion makes no sense. There are often too many people who make rational judgments that could not be farther from the truth. This male was simply born to be a female, but because of gender issues, continued living an uncomfortable life as a male (Sandeen).
Luckily for the her, she had been a sexual harassment instructor before and was able to take the case up with higher officials. I am sad to say that this barely did anything for her, the two people who did the harassing only received a verbal punishment and/or a documentation. This article states that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy affects more than just gay men, it affects the entire transgender community as well.
This policy makes the American government very uncomfortable. They in some ways want equal opportunity for others, but in the case so they look like they are good people who believe in equal rights. I do not like how there are so many close minded people who take their own lives for granted and do not experience the struggles many others face because they are not accepted in society but cannot conform either. I hope some day people who are different will be seen as special instead of looked down upon.