Liveblog tonight at 7:30 PM ET: former West Point Cadet Katherine Miller

Posted on 17 Aug 2010 at 5:44pm

PHB live chat link: http://tinyurl.com/phbmiller

We’re pleased to bring former West Point Cadet Katherine Miller to the Blend for a liveblog. Miller resigned last week, stating that she was unwilling to ‘compromise her Integrity’ under the discriminatory policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

In her resignation letter, she cites the kinds of experiences she is unwilling to continue to endure:

I have created a heterosexual dating history to recite to fellow cadets when they inquire. I have endured unwanted approaches by male cadets for fear of being accused as a lesbian by rejecting or reporting these events. I have been coerced into ignoring derogatory comments towards homosexuals for fear of being alienated for my viewpoint.  In short, I have lied to my classmates and compromised my integrity and my identity by adhering to existing military policy.

While at the academy, I have made a deliberate effort to develop myself academically, physically, and militarily, but in terms of holistic personal growth I have reached a plateau. I am unwilling to suppress an entire portion of my identity any longer because it has taken a significant personal, mental, and social toll on me and detrimentally affected my professional development. I have experienced a relentless cognitive dissonance by attempting to adhere to ?654 [colloquially known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"] and retain my integrity, and I am retrospectively convinced that I am unable to live up to the Army Values as long as the policy remains in place.

Miller will be transferring to Yale University this fall on a Point Foundation Scholarship.

Here is a video of Miller discussing her decision to resign from West Point:

While at West Point Miller blogged under the pseudonym Private Second Class Citizen at Velvetpark. Check out a snippet below the fold.
Miller:

I kept busy by applying to other colleges and applying for LGBTQ scholarships. The one I pursued particularly aggressively required me to submit letters of recommendation within a week of being notified as a semifinalist. I saw the word “congratulations” in my inbox, confirmed my assumptions with a glance at the email, and picked up my hat and gloves before I headed out of my barracks room. I didn’t even have to think about it; I couldn’t pursue my activism any longer without help.

Five minutes later I rushed haphazardly into my professor’s office. I was sweating in my shiny, plastic Chorofram shoes, and after feeling my pulse my throat I became aware of how tight my collar was around my neck. “Ma’am, do you have a second,” as I closed her office door behind me, consciously worsening the stuffiness in the room and in my heavy wool uniform. Without waiting for a response, I seated myself. “Ma’am I’m transferring next semester. And I need a leader of recommendation in three days. For a scholarship for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students.”

“So does that mean you’re-?”

“Yes.”

“And you’re leaving because of Don’t Ask, Don’t-”

“Yes.”

She studied me for a second, asked a series of questions for clarification, and agreed to write me a letter of recommendation.

As soon as I was out of her sight, I did a little Jersey Shore fist pump in the air.

We hope to have a lively discussion about West Point, t he atmosphere there and Miller’s decision to come out.



Thanks to Sue Fulton at Knights Out for partnering with us this evening.
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