I guess I shouldn’t say “post-DADT” because it’s still in effect and will be until Obama puts pen to paper and beyond.
But close enough.
Civilian friends have been running up to me and saying with expectant expressions, “How do you feel? Isn’t it great? Aren’t you happy?”
And I say in a monotone,”Yeah.” They hesitate for a second, waiting for some other reaction, and then when they realize they’re not gonna get one they fall back, somewhat disappointed because I was the first person they thought of when they saw it on the news.
It’s strange. This is the best news I’ve heard since — ever. I’ll remember yesterday until I’m an old dyke people interview for documentaries about the bad old days. But I don’t feel euphoric. Really I just want to cry, or have sex with Captain Awesome (who is 1,000 miles away).
It’s kind of exhausting — all the writing and lobbying and hoping and wishing and stressing — I just want to forget about it. To pretend it never happened.
Maybe that’s what I’ll do. Just pretend all the supressed smiles and the fear never happened. Just pretend I was never nauseous in the commissary ’cause we should not have gone there together. I’ll pretend I never disguised my letters or switched pronouns.
I’m happy, but it doesn’t take away all the stress we went through. And really, Captain Awesome hasn’t even been active duty that long. My friend Chief has been in for 12 years. Gay Soldier’s Husband‘s husband similarly has a long history. And there are others who served their full 20 years and never breathed a word.
So forgive us if we’re not dancing in the streets like we should be, or if we have a hard time smiling. It’s overwhelming. Also, we’re still shocked. We’re still realizing the myriad ways this is gonna change our lives. I was walking down the street, and I suddenly realized that if I were with Captain Awesome, we could hold hands. Then I realized I wasn’t gonna have to put up that silly picture of me at military ball with a straight man.
But I’m going to keep the picture, to remind us what lengths we once had to go to — and will go to no more.