After 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal, Gay Troops Cautiously Optimistic

12/19/2010 10:14 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Washington Post

"Don't cry," a 21-year-old specialist, one of the lieutenant's confidants, told his boss jokingly when news broke that 65 senators had voted to repeal "don't ask, don't tell."

"I'm completely numb," was all the lieutenant could mutter.

Across the world, other gay troops whose lives, careers and relationships have been indelibly, if sometimes quietly, shaped by the ban reacted to the news with a mixture of rapture and disbelief.

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