The Five New Faces That Emerged At The Dawn Of The DADT Repeal

With today’s historic “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” repeal, many new military faces have come fresh out of the closet and back onto the battlefields. In fact OutServe has featured 101 faces of LGB servicemembers who can now serve openly without fear of discharge. But we’d like to celebrate some of the newer gay and lesbian faces that emerged over the last couple years in the media. They don’t represent all or even the most influential faces people who helped repeal DADT, but their stories about life in the military closet helped raise awareness about the anti-gay policy through frequent appearances on TV and in print—something worth well commending.

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  • James E. Pietrangelo, II

    For reasons I won’t even fully discuss because Queerty wouldn’t get it anyway, this article is profoundly insulting to all those who “fought” against DADT. And Queerty’s disclaimer at the beginning of its article does not save it.

    Two of the people profiled above didn’t really “risk” anything. They remained anonymous until repeal.

    One of the above people was outed and didn’t voluntarily risk anything to stand up for the truth, and additionally spent their entire “tour” of activism fighting for their own benefits and got them via a sweetheart deal with the Government that didn’t help anyone else. If anything, this person enjoyed the full extent of their “celebrity” in the process.

    The penultimate person’s story above was certainly innocent enough, but certainly they did significantly less than other “activists” on the trail including former veterans, such as former Air Force Cadet Mara Boyd who went to jail for equality.

    And then there’s Dan Choi. Queerty got it right to the extent that it calle him a hero because he is the real hero in the whole DADT fight, although from Queerty’s pathetic description of his contribution you wouldn’t know it. Dan is modern America’s equivalent of MLK, Jr.

    Finally, there were so many people stretching back decades who voluntarily stood up to fight DADT when it wasn’t “fashionable” to do so and when it cost dearly to do so and who have sacrificed much and done much who are lines ahead of the four “heroes” (besides Dan) profiled above who should be the ones thanked by the Gay community and profiled by sites like Queerty.

    It makes no sense whatsoever for Queerty to say that it is profiling these particular 4 because they had a media “impact.” Charlie Sheen had a media “impact,” but that does not mean he should get recognition for supposedly doing something good. Profiling these four others merely reinforces the attitude that was responsible for enacting DADT in the first place: that what is “popular” and “easy” and fashionable should get our attention and support, versus what is right and often difficult.

    If Queerty you want to celebrate the repeal of DADT, I suggest you get off your backside and go into the “trenches” and profile the real heroes and what they did.

  • Cam

    Countdown to all the HRC=bots coming in trying to rewrite history and claiming that Obama was out there fighting and pushing for this and not that it was forced down his throat by the grass roots and Pelosi.

  • James E. Pietrangelo, II

    It’s particularly ridiculous that you should profile the anonymous servicemember who blogged while hiding his face. He’s as recent a phenomenon as the iPhone 5. He lately posts a couple of videos of himself with his face hidden and suddenly he’s a “hero” in the fight against DADT–even though as far as I can tell his videos were post-repeal last December. This is the same mentality that thinks Tom Hanks won World War II because he starred in Saving Private Ryan. You can remain a superficial social site, Queerty, if you want, but if you want to be something serious in life, do a serious story now and then and not these “pop tart” pieces.

  • the crustybastard

    Margaret Witt, Sandy Tsao and James Pietrangelo are all conspicuously absent.

    That you omitted them in favor of people who remained anonymous is a odd way to define “risk.”

  • Pedro

    Dan Choi = MLK jr. LoL, thanks for the laugh, I really needed a good laugh about now! When is Dan gonna write his equivalent of a Letter From A Birmingham Jail? I am so anxious to read it! I wait with bated breath!

  • Pedro

    And just so all you Dan lovers understand, Dan has psych issues and will not be allowed back into the Military, EVER! So I guess fame whoring is his only hope now!

  • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

    That international fame-whore, former-Lt. Dan Choi, has his face plastered all-over the Home page of the Huffington Post. **Grrrrrr….**

    Somebody tell the MSM that his 15-miniutes-of-fame expired months ago.

  • Michael

    This is important and all but another gay teenager took his life this weekend a teenager named Jamey. Queerty why hasnt anything been said or even mentioned about this? I dont give a rats ass about the celeb bs or any of this other superficial shit.I do however give a damn about innocent human beings who are STILL being tortured bullied and driven to suicide.

  • Thomas Maguire

    LTC Victor Fehrenbach is not “young” and thank God for that.

    He is a dedicated, patriotic, handsome man.

  • Steven

    Dan Villarreal:

    Yes, they are heroes. And they deserve better than to be covered by an irresponsible buffoon like you. Did you see the latest use of your “work”? Yes, Dan Villarreal’s middle school-level writing style is the gift that keeps on giving to the anti-gay industry? Here’s the latest citation to your work. You are 100% responsible for the damage that comes out of this:

    “PARENT ALERT: Gay Lobby Admits: Can We Please Just Start Admitting That We Do Actually Want To Indoctrinate Kids?
    September 2, 2011

    Gay Lobby Admits: Can We Please Just Start Admitting That We Do Actually Want To Indoctrinate Kids?

    Its in black and white and its not contrived or satire.

    It is directly in response to Public Advocate’s and other groups succesful promotion of traditional marriage between a man and woman as the best thing for children.

    And it is directly in response to our consistent position here at Public Advocate that homosexuals want, desire, direct all their propaganda at and to recruit children.

    So now they, the top leaders of the homosexual lobby, boldly admit it, proclaim it and shout it to the highest roof tops:

    “I for one certainly want tons of school children to learn that it’s OK to be gay” I and a lot of other people want to indoctrinate, recruit, teach, and expose children to queer sexuality AND THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.–Daniel Villarreal, Queerty contributor”

  • Michael

    So let me get this straight another innocent human being is bullied to death.Yet this is what constitutes as important and relevant in the LGBT community? Yes DADT being over is wonderful but now there is a 2ND thread about this and STILL not one word about this 14 year old. Shame really the advocate towleroad and im sure even afterelton have covered this already.So either the people behind queerty either are way behind in this sad news or have their priorities way screwed up at the moment. DADT ending is indeed very relevant and important… but then again so are human lives in general.

  • Michael


    Those kinds of comments are incredibly irresponsible regardless of whether you were being sarcastic or not Daniel directed to Daniel Villarreal.

    Thats all these unstable lunatics need is AMMO to use against us .With comments like that those idiots will actually think they have EVIDENCE to support their ridiculous and illogical arguments concerning homosexuality and gay marriage.

  • Gay Veteran

    @James E. Pietrangelo, II: Us soldiers who served under DADT are heroes. We’re the ones proving that gays can be vital members of the military. And when we do finally come out our straight peers, who opposed a repeal of DADT, will be dumbfounded.. they’ll see that gays can be successful in the military. They’ll have to question themselves and realize how ignorant they were.

  • RLS

    I agree with Jim. This list is problematic at best. Arguments can be made for Dan, JD, and even Victor, but Katie Miller? Did she even serve? And that kid who came out today? Give me a break, queerty. This is lazy even for you.

    The good thing about DADT repeal is that this process created some real leaders who are gonna make some real impact in the movement for LGBT rights. Aside from Dan and maybe JD, you’ve highlighted a bunch of people who are more than likely going to disappear from the movement for good now that they’ve gotten what they wanted. Some of us in this fight see DADT as a battle in the war for full equality. To most of the people you’ve chosen to highlight, DADT *was* the war.

  • Gay Veteran

    @RLS: Sorry but the “kid who came out today” is a war veteran… he’s literally fighting wars. How dare you belittle him? And Katie Miller will probably be a officer in the military someday.

    Get over yourself. Some GLB people are fighting other fights.

  • Michael [email protected]

    “JD” remained a self-serving COWARD until the last possible minute—even though there has been no danger of ANYONE being discharged since early July when the 9th Circuit reinstated the injunction preventing any further investigations or discharges while “implementation” proceeded.

    There are some great, well-meaning people involved in OutServe [or until today: NOT-OutSever] but JD and most of those behind his “magazine” [judging by its contents so far] are indefensibly ignorant of gay history [his claim that his is the first underground network of gays in the military is ludicrous—they go all the way back to WWII, decades before there was even an Internet to make it easy]; ignorant of what the laws and regulations are as the relate to partner benefits [e.g., access to military family housing is NOT banned by DOMA], and collaborationists with the Pentagon’s refusal to give gay and lesbian service members equal access to the same protections against harassment and discrimination IN the military that blacks, women, et al., have. But now JO, excuse me, JD, has got a book to sell. What next? His own cologne? He’s the Paris Hilton of the gay military. SHE has a huge following, too.

  • Lefty

    @Gay Veteran: “he’s literally fighting wars.”

    More than one!?
    This man deserves a medal!

  • Lefty

    Gay soldiers in the UK have been allowed to kill innocent people abroad whilst being openly gay for over a decade.
    Nice to see we’re finally catching up in the US…

  • mike128

    I am really shocked by the people here who are giving gay service members a hard time for opting to stay anonymous until DADT was formally repealed. I would probably have done the same thing – and I am very interested in hearing their stories. Also – let’s not forget that some of these solders are in their late teens and early twenties. We can’t expect them to know all of gay history or to be perfectly “brave”. I certainly wasn’t fully informed or unafraid to put msyelf out there at that point in my life…. and I would be willing to bet that most of you posting here weren’t either.


    href=”#comment-488028″>Lefty: Lefty= you are fucking IDIOT!. Guys you are the real deal heroes of the fucking Christian, military. Yes you 5 and others deserved more then just medals; AdamHomo

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