Ripple Effects of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Lorraine wanted to escape her hometown and saw the military as an option. Even though she was a member of the LGBQT+ community and knew Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was a regulation in place she determined she still wanted to serve. Don’t ask, don’t tell was repealed on September 20, 2011, less than a year after Lorraine joined the Navy. She said there were still lingering effects of discrimination for those in the LGBQT+ community and discussed those during this week’s interview.

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lingering affects of don't ask, don't tell

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Lingering effects of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell


Lorraine joined the Navy after high school. She was ready for something new and needed a break. That wasn’t an option so the military gave her a new opportunity. She was able to be an aircraft mechanic. Not having the best study skills from high school she found the desire to get through her training to make her become a good student. The desire not to fail led her to change her study habits and she became a F/A 18F Powerplants mechanic.

She graduated from tech school and headed off to Naval Air Station Oceana. The ship she was assigned to was already underway so she was sent to join them. And instead of working on aircraft she found herself pulling lines and part of the Naval crew. She did not get to work on aircraft until she got home from her tour. She deployed one more time a few years later and then was on the flight line doing the job she was trained for.

Shore duty

Her next assignment was shore duty where she worked with the F-35C. Because it was shore duty she did not have to worry about deployments. She was debating on the next step in her military career when her mom ended up getting diagnosed with ?? and since she knew she would be required to go back to sea duty she wanted the stability the Navy couldn’t offer. Quickly after she decided to leave the military she was out and not ready for the transition. She gives the advice of getting certified in what you will do in the civilian sector and not wait. It took three years for her certification to catch up to her training.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

We covered what it was like to join the military as part of the LGQBT+ community under DADT and the lingering effects. I mentioned recently reading Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man and how he talked about how changing the law through the 13-15th amendment didn’t fix everything. It was interesting to compare racial prejudice and how the same commonalities exist within the LGBQT+ community.

Mentioned in this episode:

Related Episodes:

Non-Binary Veteran’s story – Episode 148

Being an F-111 Pilot During Vietnam – Episode 84

Seeing the World with the US Navy – Episode 9

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