Fighting to Serve: Behind the Scenes in the War to Repeal by Alexander Nicholson

By Alexander Nicholson

Discharged in 2002 from the united states military below the provisions of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Alexander Nicholson was once surprised to profit there has been no staff advocating DADT’s repeal that was once achieving out to energetic army or veterans businesses. Nicholson believed the repeal attempt wanted spokespersons who understood army tradition, who may well discuss DADT’s impression on those that serve to people who serve and served. a person like him.


From this concept Servicemembers United, the biggest association for homosexual and lesbian servicemembers, used to be born. Nicholson and several other others who were discharged less than DADT toured the U.S., the place they spoke at American Legion posts, on radio speak indicates, and at press meetings around the South and on either coasts. shocked on the ordinarily optimistic reception that the travel provoked, Nicholson and Servicemembers United have been propelled to the vanguard of the DADT repeal fight.


In time Nicholson turned the single named plaintiff within the winning lawsuit that ordered the coverage overturned, forcing the united states Congress to behave. Fighting to Serve supplies a no-holds-barred account of the behind the scenes ideas and negotiations, revealing how numerous LGBT agencies, the Congress, the Pentagon, and the White condominium usually labored at go reasons. yet in spite of everything, it was once the strain introduced via lively veterans, a courtroom ruling out of California, and some brave senators, representatives, and armed forces leaders that introduced the damaging coverage to an finish.

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Extra info for Fighting to Serve: Behind the Scenes in the War to Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Sample text

Once again, that gut-wrenching panic set in. Only a few close friends knew at that point that I had been kicked out of the military for being gay, and none of them even knew who my parents were or where they lived. When I told her that I thought that was a strange question and asked why she was inquiring, she explained that an envelope from the army had just arrived at their home and that my father, thinking anything coming from the army to their home must be for him, had opened it up. My father and I have the same name—I’m the third and he’s a junior—and my parents’ address had been listed on my military records as my “home of record” address, as is the case with most young recruits.

But Benecke, an air force veteran, had been elbowed out of SLDN (so the story went) by a lawyer-activist who had never served in the military, and the discharged servicemembers who appeared in random media spots from time to time were almost always there as a result of civilian activists who arranged their appearances and offered such opportunities up as long as their rules were followed. Many prominent gay servicemembers, I later learned, got so fed up with being stage-managed that they gave up on the advocacy after one or two media appearances.

And one of the things I felt I had to do in order to do that was make amends with the last guy I had dated, whether he was ready to or not. Andre, a male model and recent transplant from Brazil, had been one of my few really good friends in Miami. He was four years older than I was, but the experience of living independently in South Beach was a learning experience for both of us, which for a while we went through together. We became good friends and then dated for a time, but everything ended, as relationships often do, with a huge fight, after which we didn’t speak to each other again.

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