I am repeating a wonderful post from the GLAAD blog. While I have expressed tremendous concerns that the president was backing away from his clear campaign commitment to end — read REPEAL — the gay military ban, I am thrilled to share very positive news.
Lieutenant Sandy Tsao is a Chinese American woman and an army officer based out of St. Louis, Missouri. Last January, she made the brave decision to come out as gay. At the same time, Sandy also sent a heartfelt letter to President Obama urging him to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).
As part of her letter to the president Lieutenant, Tsao wrote:
Today is Chinese New Year day. I hope it will bring good fortune to you and your newly elected office. Today is also the day I inform my chain of command of who I am. One of the seven army values is integrity. It means choosing to do the right thing no matter what the consequences may be. As a Christian, this also means living an honest life.
In closing, she wrote:
We have the best military in the world and I would like to continue to be part of it. My mother can tell you it is my dream to serve our country. I have fought and overcome many barriers to arrive at the point I am at today. This is the only battle I fear I may lose. Even if it is too late for me, I do hope, Mr. President, that you will help us to win the war against prejudice so that future generations will continue to work together and fight for our freedoms regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.
This past Tuesday, May 5, Sandy received a package from the White House. As Sandy unwrapped the thick envelope and looked inside, she tearfully fell to her knees. Protected between two pieces of cardboard, the parcel contained a handwritten note from President Obama.
The President, responding to Sandy’s letter, wrote:
Sandy – Thanks for the wonderful and thoughtful letter. It is because of outstanding Americans like you that I committed to changing our current policy. Although it will take some time to complete (partly because it needs Congressional action) I intend to fulfill my commitment. — Barack Obama.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of this 43 word note. No president in history has so decisively expressed a commitment to repeal DADT.
Okay, Mr. President, you’ve got my attention. Maybe I was too quick to believe that you — like so many others — would leave us behind. This is your “Get Out of Jail Free Card,” you only get one. Now, deliver on your promise to Liuetenant Tsao, and to the hundreds of thousands of brave gay men and women who had fought in silence for a freedom so long denied to them.