Celebrating DADT Repeal at Resource Center, Dallas, TX

No, that isn’t me re-enlisting. I would have if the policy repeal had occurred early enough to save my career back in 1988, but it is me and fellow lesbian and gay veterans being honored at the DADT Repeal celebratory reception at the Resource Center in Dallas, Texas. I honestly did not believe I’d ever live to see this day, but I am so grateful it has finally come.

The reception was really nice, and I appreciated getting to know some fellow LGBT veterans living in the Dallas area, and the warm welcome extended to all of us lesbian and gay veterans from the Resource Center Dallas Strategic Communications and Program Manager, Rafael McDonnell. Chief Master Sergeant, and LGBT activist, Dave Guy Gainer (pictured far right wearing gray jacket), gave a speech and donated his archive of material related to the repeal to the Phil Johnson Library housed at the center. Chief Master Sergeant Gainer was tirelessly active in lobbying the Texas congressional delegation and others to overturn the discriminatory policy.

From the Dallas Voice:

“It’s one of the largest donations we’ve ever gotten from one person,” said Resource Center Dallas Strategic Communications and Programs Manager Rafael McDonnell.

Gainer retired from the Air Force as a chief master sergeant before DADT went into effect. He has served as a board member of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network since 2005.Before that he was chapter president of American Veterans for Equal Rights before becoming regional and then national vice president of that organization.

A moment of silence was observed for members of the transgender community who are not included in the repeal and can still be separated. Also, partners and spouses of lesbian and gay veterans were honored, and it was noted they will not receive the same benefits partners in opposite sex marriages enjoy. That unfortunate fact, of course, needs to change.

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