It Gets Better – Except in the Military

This week has been too full of awful stories of young people being bullied to death—mocked and tortured because their tormentors believed them to be gay, and believed it was OK to treat a gay person as less than human.

Dan Savage’s tremendous response, the It Gets Better Project, made me cry and cheer. A growing number of adults have posted video testimonials on You Tube assuring children being subjected to cruel and violent bullying that they should hold on, because life gets better once you are an adult.

Unless, of course, you join the military.

In the face of what is starting to feel like an epidemic of young children killing themselves as a result of soul-crushing harassment from their peers, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy has become even more offensive, more untenable than it already was.

How can we teach children that it is wrong to tease someone because of their sexuality when our government sanctions Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

The district attorney will be investigating allegations that Asher Brown’s school ignored the bullying that drove him to commit suicide. Criminal charges have been brought against the students who broadcast the video of Tyler Clementi over the internet, triggering his suicide leap from a New York bridge.

Meanwhile, in the White House and in Congress, grown men and women can’t seem to grasp the concept that if discrimination, harassment, and bullying are wrong when it comes to children, that they are also wrong when it comes to adults.

Stop the equivocation. Stop the rationalization. Stop the fear, ignorance, and hate. STOP IT RIGHT NOW. The time has come for people of conscience in our government to do what’s right and repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, immediately and without delay.

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