Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson shared some less than progressive views on LGBT U.S. service members earlier this month, and his comments have inspired some strong responses. Speaking to veterans in Iowa on December 5 about the push to change policy toward the acceptance of trans service members, he said, “I liked the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy. I mean, why do you have to go around flouting [sic] your sexuality? It’s not necessary, you don’t need to talk about that, we need to talk about how we eliminate the enemy.” Is Carson implying that one's sexuality is unquestionably linked to the ability to complete a job? Does he think living authentically will be a distraction to colleagues? These remarks weren't exactly well-received, and we wanted to see for ourselves how homophobia is dealt with by real people in real time. Below, members of the military share their experiences through the anonymous app Whisper:
Even these few posts show how widely the experiences of gay members of the armed forces can vary, and that the problem lies with the people who hold outdated ideas about LGBT people — returning to a policy that even the Pentagon agrees was a disaster won't fix that.