Who I Am: A Cadet Leaves West Point

Posted on 12 Aug 2010 at 2:44pm

In her own words, here is a video of Cadet Katie Miller discussing her decision to resign from West Point because of life under DADT.

A soldier’s sexual orientation should never outweigh his or her record and performance. Congress must now act swiftly to repeal this shameful policy.

The segment of photos labeled LGBT Veterans was provided by Joann Santangelo. You can find her work and support her efforts to photograph LGBT veterans at www.joannsantangelo.com.

Video edited by Alberto Morales.

Cadet Miller blogged under the pseudonym Private Second Class Citizen at Velvetpark. Check out her writings there; here’s a snippet:

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.

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