Brig. Gen. Tammy S. Smith became the first openly gay general this month. Some people thought it was another step forward in making homosexuality in the military a non-issue. Not everyone is onboard with the policy.
Dear Ms. Vicki,
I cannot adjust to the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” We recently had a gay pride festival at the Pentagon. Surely, our forefathers are turning over in their graves about this. I did 10 years in the Navy, and we didn’t have any gay people on my ship. Homosexuality would have corrupted our mission and ruined the cohesion on our ship.
Now, I’m working as a civil service worker in the Pentagon. I don’t know what I would do if I saw two men kissing or two women kissing in the corridors of the Pentagon. I think it is shameful how we have to put our feelings on the back burner just to show diversity and tolerance.Who cares about how we feel? You’re an Army wife, right? How will you feel when you learn that a gay couple is living next door to you on base, Ms. Vicki?
What do you mean, how would I feel if I learned I had a gay couple living next door to me in base housing? Are you serious? If they were new to the neighborhood, I would go over and welcome them like I would anyone else.
Listen, I’m not the person you should send letters to in order to discuss your prejudice and hatred. Your feelings and disparaging remarks can inflict a lot of damage to many people. Some people do stupid things because of fear. I don’t want to be a part of it.
Am I the only person who knew that gay people were already serving in the armed forces? They have already been serving beside others in combat and other places very valiantly and with honor.
When you want to discuss your inappropriate fear and hatred, write to me and let me know. I will gladly help. Until then, stop walking the corridors of the Pentagon looking for same-sex couples in an act of displaying public affection.
Hoping you'll change your attitude,
Hello, Ms. Vicki,
I am the proud wife of an Army officer. I have three sisters. One is married to an Air Force officer. Another is married to a naval officer.
My sister “Jenna” apparently missed this memo. She refuses to get married and have children. She wears her hair short and doesn’t wear feminine clothing. She said she is more comfortable the way she looks. It’s embarrassing!
About two years ago, she admitted to our family that she is gay. She ruined the family reunion for everyone, and my poor grandmother just about keeled over. I love my sister, but I’m ashamed at the way she looks and dresses too.
We want to help her come to her good senses. Just because she has a lot of education, she thinks she can do everything on her own without a man. She should try to be a role model to her nieces and teach them how to live right and upstanding. How can I get her to tell the truth and admit that something bad must have happened to her?
Taking the Moral High Ground
Dear Moral High Ground,
For some reason, I’m so happy that I’m not your sister. What you are saying is very judgmental, harsh, critical and demeaning. Moreover, you are factually incorrect.
Who told you that trauma causes homosexuality? Where did you read that research? Well, it doesn’t matter because it’s wrong. Listen to me, there is so much homophobia, hatred, discrimination, bullying, intimidation, and even acts of violence against gay people. This is wrong!
We have young gay men and women taking their lives because of hatred they have experienced. Being a housewife, raising children, supporting your spouse and taking care of the household are honorable positions.
Here’s the deal: I think you need to stop trying to figure your sister out, stop criticizing, condemning and making disparaging remarks about her. Your sister is who she is. You should continue to show love toward her. This shouldn’t define your relationship with her. Yes, you have a right to your opinion, but in my opinion your feelings have crossed a line and have moved toward bigotry. Somehow, bigotry and high morals just don’t go together.
Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, is married to an active-duty Soldier and has three sons. She has a Master's of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and currently works as a therapist with military servicemembers and their families. She provides services for a wide array of concerns such as combat stress, PTSD, couples and marital problems, depression, grief and loss, stress and coping.
Ms. Vicki also writes an advice column "Dear Ms. Vicki" that appears in the Washington Times, the Fort Campbell Courier and the Heidelberg Herald Post. Ms. Vicki also hosts an internet radio show and blogs on her community site with the Washington Times. If you want to ask Ms. Vicki for advice about your military life, please email her at AskMsVicki@military-inc.com.
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