When Lt. Dan Choi finishes up with his trial, which will take place on Thursday, March 28, in Washington, D.C., he and I are headed to Jeju Island, South Korea's own little island paradise. Dan needs some paradise right now. He is on trial for contesting and questioning Don't Ask Don't Tell, which was later repealed, yet now he has to go to court, and face some possibly harsh consequences, for speaking out against it years ago.
Choi is an Iraq War veteran. He is an Arabic linguist -- the kind of soldier desperately needed there -- yet because he is gay and proud and refused to stay silent on the matter of the military's systematic homophobia, he was unfairly discharged and now has to stand trial. His work as a gay activist led to the eventual demise of Don't Ask Don't Tell, which allowed LGBT folks to serve openly in the military, and in a cruelly ironic twist of fate, is still being asked to pay for the "crime" of being gay.
I always hated DADT. It's foul and unbelievably disrespectful to the people who serve this country. They give up their lives in the name of freedom and democracy, they die, their bodies brought back in somber flag draped coffins to their grief stricken families, the entire time with DADT never once allowing them to fully be themselves. Don't ask, don't tell. Don't ask anyone who they are, don't tell anyone who you are -- but still die for us, ok?
How is this acceptable? How is this possible? For the people who give so much, how could we return so little?
How is it that now that DADT is repealed, Lt. Dan Choi must still stand trial for it? I am so mad and I am so worried -- I'd like to just run away right now with Dan to Jeju Island. We could escape and live on the beach in a hut made of braided palm leaves. I could use all the survival techniques I have learned from watching Man vs Wild. We could get incredibly tan and never wear shoes and squat in front of our hut drinking soju and no one would ever find us because we would fit right in. Two Korean needles in a huge Korean haystack. I would make us money by diving for abalone. We would be just fine.
Please tweet this and support Lt. Dan Choi @ltdanchoi
In doing so, we begin to pay back the enormous debt owed to the LGBT soldiers who serve this country. We owe so much.