Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Will Really, Truly, Absolutely, Forever & Ever End In September

Oh Don’t Ask Don’t Tell! What a long, strange, terrible and sometimes promising trip it’s been. After a billion false starts, 30,000 apparent repeals and a lot more John McCain than we were prepared to handle post-2008, it’s finally really truly totally over.

Well– not exactly. But today President Obama, the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff certified the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal. As promised, the repeal will go into effect within 60 days of certification. The National Center for Lesbian Rights reports that DADT will for-real end on September 20th.

A U.S. Official told CNN yesterday that “the U.S. military is prepared to accept openly gay and lesbian service members, and doing so will not harm military readiness.”

via Lucy Ravich

It seems like we’ve been talking about a DADT Repeal for two years now, because we have. Let’s take a look back at all the fun times we’ve shared (I suggest reading every headline out loud to yourself like it’s an epic poem, it’s quite entertaining):

October 2009

Obama Pretty-Promises He’ll End DADT

January 2010

Obama’s State of the Union Address Promises DADT Repeal

February 2010

Top Defense Officials Seek to End Don’t Ask Don’t Tell For Real This Time

DADT: Dan Choi Back on Active Duty, Black Women Disproportionately Affected

Hey Pro-DADT Guys, Did You Forget to Make a Case Against Lesbians?

March 2010

Dan Choi Arrested at White House after HRC Rally, Upstages Kathy Griffin

April 2010

Gay Activists ‘Holler’, Obama Talks Back, Dan Choi Gets the Handcuffs

May 2010

Gates Advises Against Immediate DADT Repeal, Dan Choi Isn’t Impressed

White House Compromises on DADT: ‘Cause Everyone Loves Meeting Halfway

Obama to DADT Activists: I’m On Task, Don’t Yell!

Gay Activists Hunger Strike for DADT Repeal – Good Idea/Bad Idea?

Senate Committee, House Approve DADT Compromise

July 2010

What Will the DADT Survey Show If Gay Soldiers Can’t Participate?

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Survey is Extra Biased Against Gays, Somebody Failed Statistics

DADT Survey Breaks All the Research Methodology Rules, Has Issues, Is Useless

DADT Repeal: We’re Still Unsure What the F*ck is Happening

DADT: Dan Choi Discharged Today Because He’s Gay

Harry Reid Says He’ll Repeal DADT & Give Dan Choi’s West Point Ring Back. Like Soon-ish.

Top West Point Cadet Resigns Because of Emotional Toll of DADT

August 2010

U.S Government Really Likes Us Gays or is F*cking With Our Heads

The Long Slow March Towards A DADT Repeal: A Story Told In Screenshots

September 2010

DADT Ruled Unconstitutional: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is Told Not To Ask, We’re Told

Senate Taking Up DADT Repeal Next Week, With Strings Attached

Repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: It’s a Thing

OPEN THREAD: DADT Repeal Vote Moves Forward Today, At Least We Hope

DADT Fail Hangover Day: Bill Clinton and Rachel Maddow Tell the Truth

Oh My F*cking God, Another DADT Roadblock, What Is Wrong With You People

October 2010

Judge Orders Suspension of Gay Soldiers Discharge Under DADT For Real

What The DADT Injunction Really Means: Something, or Nothing, Time Will Tell

DADT Injunction Still Stands, Gays Can Enlist – But Don’t Get Too Comfortable

What The F*ck Is Happening With DADT: Discharges Are Possible Once Again, Maybe

Obama Makes Surprise Visit to DADT Meetup, Promises to Bring DADT Repeal and Dessert Next Time

November 2010

DADT Repeal Stalled In Continued Push Towards National Mediocrity

Democrats Lean Towards Caving On DADT,” We Lean Towards Screaming From Our Eyeballs

High Court Keeps US Gay Military Ban Intact: Life Without DADT Was “Fun” While It Lasted

Dems Will Push DADT Repeal, Hoping For Last Minute Comeback, Magical Study

This is a DADT Megapost In Which McCain Gets Crazier, Repeal Gets Closer, Etc.

DADT Survey Results Are In: Gays Won’t Mess Up the Army (But John McCain Might)

December 2010

Listling Without Commentary: Actual Answers to DADT Survey Questions, Out of Context

DADT Hearing Returns to Washington, Is Better than “Cats”

BREAKING: Senate Blocks DADT Repeal, Gays Lose, John McCain Wins

DADT Superstar Dan Choi Breaks Down as DADT Repeal Bill Runs Its Final Lap

BREAKING FOR REAL: House Passes “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal, Now We Must Charm the Senate


Senate Repeals DADT: Holy Sh*t, DADT Repeal? It’s Still a Thing!

What Does The DADT Repeal Actually Mean?

Even FOX News Admits DADT Had To Be Repealed After Gay Soldiers Speak

January 2011

John McCain Is Done Being an Assh*le Now, Has “Made Peace” With DADT Repeal

February 2011

On A Scale Of One To Repealed, How Repealed Is DADT?

April 2011

DADT Repeal Could Happen By Mid-Summer

Honestly, What Even Is This “DADT Repeal” if Katie Miller Can’t Get Back In?

May 2011

House Passes Bill Aimed at Slowing DADT Repeal, Obama is Officially Upset

June 2011

Some Marines Want Option to Escape Military Before the Gay Invasion, Won’t Get It

DADT Still Not Repealed, Gay Soldiers Still Being Discharged, Are Unsafe

July 2011

Appeals Court Suspends Enforcement of DADT, Drinks Are On Dan Choi

Court Appeals Injunction Of DADT and The Painted Pony Goes Up and Down

Feature Stories on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell:

“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” Discharge Lissa Young: The Autostraddle Interview

Lesbian Soldier Denied DADT Discharge Now Seeking Canadian Asylum: Autostraddle Interviews Pte. Skyler James

Video! NYC’s Big Gay Day: Autostraddle Does the Anti-Gay Evangelical Rally, Chats with Dan Choi

Is There a “Right Way” to be a Gay Activist? On Dan Choi, Obama’s Alliance & Civil Disobedience

Dan Choi is People

From Secret To Separate But Equal – New, Terrible Ideas Regarding Gays In Military

10 Ways of Looking at John McCain: DADT Filibuster Art Therapy Special

You’re all allowed to have an extra beer or club soda tonight!

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3198 articles for us.


  1. With many of the what seems like 20,000 potential GOP candidates swearing to try to repeal it, I can’t fully believe that it will end forever until after the next election cycle. However, I really hope it does end forever and ever because it’s a horrible law that never should have been created in the first place.

    • Truth be told, DADT was created at a time when certain military members were hunting down closeted gay service members in order to expel them, and people were pushing for an amendment. This was the least of the evils at that time. I’m glad to see it go now, though!

  2. I finally feel as though it’s safe to believe this will all be over soon.
    Riese and Rachel, you have been especially helpful in keeping a sense of humor throughout the myriad of trials/debates and I salute you.

  3. You ladies are very awesome for your extensive coverage.

    Re: epic poem – this is my favourite: “Oh My F*cking God, Another DADT Roadblock, What Is Wrong With You People” Pulitzer-worthy title right thurr.

  4. Somewhere in Washington John McCain is crying. I would love to see a picture of that.
    Thank you President Obama! Can we get rid of DOMA next?

  5. I’m glad that DADT is finally going to be repealed for real, it just came too late for me to want to stay in the military any longer.

    • Amen, I’m happy to see it gone, but with the reactions some people were having, i’m almost glad to see it out.

      If i have to hear “well, if gay people can room and shower with people they’re attracted to, why can’t I shower with my girlfriend?” one more time, i’m going to scream. that, along with my 1st sgt making homophobic jokes trying to sound unhomophobic, and then stating that he finds it against his religion but he only put up with it because he follors orders, made me mad

      but apparently i changed his mind about some gay people because i’ve heard that since i’ve left, he talks positively about me, and that my openness is a part of it

      (and no, i wasn’t kicked out for being gay, I was medically discharged. i just didnt give a fuck about who knew if i was gay or not)

  6. You all have done a great job at covering this over the last two years.

    Yay, it’s actually happening and will be over soon!

  7. You guys have written so much and actually kept me sane through this whole repeal process so thank you for your awesomeness!

    • That’s not really true. Trans people aren’t barred from serving because of a law, they’re barred because GID is a diagnosis in the DSM-IV, and people with diagnosed DSM disorders usually can’t be in the military. This includes everything from depression to ADHD.

      • Thanks Tips. I am actually well aware of their justification for not letting trans* people serve in the US Military.

  8. Wow, you guys are machines.

    Also — the mccain monster head eating/ yelling at/ fire breathing on the rainbow flag people. that is some crazy shit right there. i don’t know what to make of it. i’m kind of overwhelmed, but not with feelings. just sort of mindblown.

  9. You guys win all the prizes for funny/creative article titles. This is my favorite:
    “Democrats Lean Towards Caving On DADT,” We Lean Towards Screaming From Our Eyeballs”

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