Veteran’s Day When You’re Queer

Today is a day for honoring those who have served and sacrificed for this country. I am a USAF veteran. I would not change those decisions that made me a veteran, even if I could.

So much of who I am today comes from the people I met, the experiences I had, and the lessons I learned while I served. Practically my entire adult life has been spent in service to this country as both military member and civilian public servant.

Being queer, however, causes me to feel conflict about that service, especially on this day. Many of those who served in the past or are currently serving tend to be very conservative and have beliefs that don’t value who I am now.

But many in the queer community condemn the military and other public servants, like police officers, so they hold beliefs that don’t value who I was which in turn is a big part of who I am now. I often find myself too liberal for my veteran friends and too conservative for my queer friends.

At my age I know it shouldn’t matter that I don’t fit and most of the time I’m not concerned with it. But with the election that just happened on a national level and a shake up in my group of friends, I’m very much feeling my status as a misfit.

I know there are other queer veterans out there. I’ve met quite a few, but I’ve never sat down and discussed with them if they experience this conflict in their lives too. Maybe I should start a support group.

If you are queer but not a vet or a vet that is not queer, please remember me and others like me when you feel like condemning those on the other side.

Be well my friends.

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