Published on May 29th, 2012 | by James Johnson0
First Openly Gay Students Graduating From Military Schools
America’s military academies are in the process of graduating their newest class of seniors and for the first time the schools are graduating openly gay students.
According to the Associated Press for the first time that means some students are able to introduce their significant others as more than “friends.” As one West Point cadet tells the publication of years past:
“I had to do the ambiguous, ‘Oh, she’s my best friend,'” when introducing her girlfriend while she adds that President Obama’s repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell “was a remarkable thing for me.”
Not only are openly gay students graduating from the academy, in some cases big changes have come to military organizations, for example the Air Force Academy for the first time officially recognizes a gay students’ organization. The Air Force is also promoting mentoring and networking opportunities for gay students and alumni.
In the wake of the DODT repeal a West Point gay alumni group recently held its first annual dinner to honor gay graduates and current students.
Openly gay students still have a long way to go before full acceptance is likely welcomed by straight military students and school officials but in the meantime at least those students can celebrate their military academy graduations without a veil of secrecy surrounding their personal lives.