In a fascinating new article, Navy SEAL Brett Jones writes about his experience as a closeted Special Ops officer. The piece appears in SOFREP, a news site dedicated to military and Spec Ops vets.
For much of his career, Brett had to remain closeted. That meant lying to his teammates and lying to his dates. When he did manage to make it to a gay bar (the local one in Virginia Beach was called “Cactus,” for reasons we can’t quite fathom), he’d occasionally meet former colleagues who’d been dishonorably discharged.
Of course, when the time finally came that he could be honest with the world, it was far less disastrous than he’d feared. This is a time when the system worked: in a pure meritocracy, Brett’s skill and dedication to his job were what mattered most.
What the article does not address is how Brett was “forced out of the closet,” which sounds like it could be an even more fascinating tale. Did he come out before or after the repeal of DADT? The article’s unclear. But he says he’s still a Navy SEAL, so we’re assuming there were no career repercussions.
So now we just need some lumberjacks to come out, a monster truck driver, maybe a couple of coal miners — and going forward we can just assume that the more tough and rugged the occupation, the gayer it is.