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

Hey there! Are you ready for something to actually happen w/r/t a DADT repeal? So are we, but for now we’ll have to settle for very minor news about the survey being offered to enlisted soldiers about their feelings. (Not that we don’t love feelings. We do. Obviously.) Basically, the format the DADT survey is taking is an “online inbox,” which sounds like something that your grandmother would make up because it sounds like “an internet thing,” which soldiers can access via the Army Knowledge Online site. The DOD seems, as per ushe, reluctant to share much about the details; we know that it’s supposed to be confidential, and that the messages soldiers leave will be shared with the Department of Defense Comprehensive Review Working Group. We’re also told that the inbox will remain open until about September 30 or “until leadership decides the inbox has fulfilled its purpose,” which, um, is it me or did it just get really ominous in here?

Because they are tricky motherf*ckers and also awesome, Pam’s House Blend has obtained screenshots of the survey in question, so we can feel a little less in the dark about this whole thing. Firstly, that confidentiality thing? Don’t get too excited about that. “The Army cannot guarantee confidentiality of the information you provide, but our intent is for you to provide anonymous comments.” Really? That’s the best you can do?

In case that was too vague, they later go on to specify that there’s virtually no confidentiality at all, and you can in fact still face repercussions for anything you say, which is in fact pretty much the opposite of confidentiality. The footer at the bottom of this login screen reads: “This is a non-confidential Online Inbox, Please do not use your name or the names of others within your comment. The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law is still in effect. Please be aware that comments or involvement in criminal activity or statements that an individual poses a threat to him/herself or others may be referred to the appropriate Army or DoD authorities.” Oh, and of course it would be WAY TOO MUCH TO ASK for gender identity options besides male and female. Thanks for that, Army!

Let’s be real, if you’ve been doing any kind of reading on this survey you weren’t feeling great about it in the first place, but hopefully you now feel equipped with the information necessary to focus your helpless anger and bitterness on specific points. Also, for our queer enlisted readers, we’re genuinely sorry that this is the best option you’ve been given.

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Rachel is Autostraddle's Managing Editor and the editor who presides over news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

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3 Comments

  1. Hahaha, this is actually something from a few months ago. I got this email thinking it was actually the survey. I was disappointed when I found out it was just an inbox. But I actually got 5 of my coworkers that I was out to, to write something. Most of them wouldn’t do it because they thought that by supporting gay people it would actually mean they were gay. Which was followed by some other homophobic comment. Which means I’m pretty sure most of the people who wrote something were not supporters but were ignorant, homophobic servicemembers. Which is why I said screw waiting for the repeal, I’m getting discharged.

    • that really, really sucks. i’m sorry. getting discharged over dadt is a giant, steaming pile of bull. the military is really screwing itself over by catering to a bunch of antiquated ideals they apparently just refuse to grow past.

      i tell you, it wouldn’t surprise me to see this never gets repealed and just gets “amended” and that it takes a decade to do even that.

      and here’s the thing. dadt not only kills the careers of people already in the military. it also takes away the thousands of prospects that would join and contribute to the military. i’m one of those. it was a lifelong dream of mine to join the army and be a combat medic. i’ve been waiting, hoping, dreaming, that dadt would be repealed and i could join up and not have to lie every day just for the honor of serving my country. there’s no honor in lying. i was so tied in knots over lying that i had to withdraw from the recruitment process just short of meps. it nearly killed me. it’s hard to see a dream just permanently one short grasp out of reach.

      and also, i hate watching the nightly news, because i feel like it’s my fault there’s one less medic out there saving lives. it isn’t my fault. but who knows what i could have accomplished by now.

      dadt screws us all.

  2. DADT definitly sucks, I mean dont get me wrong my personal life would stay personal at work regardless if I was straight or gay, but just the fact that I dont have that option of beingable to share my life with people if I wanted to. In the military there are obviously quite a few fellow gay members serving and you can be yourself around them and not have to completly hide and all my friends that are straight know and have no problem, the american mil. has evolved quite a bit, I mean yeah you still have those people who are tottaly aginst it but, you have that everywhere, but most of the people I know and serve with dont have a problem with it all. The person that I decide to sleep with has no effect on my ability to fight and do my job.

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