Posted by: outandequal | September 15, 2011

The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

by April Hawkins | I joined other lucky viewers in watching a sneak preview of The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I learned so much from this film. I had no idea that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell allowed witch hunts of lesbian, gay and bisexual service members. I also didn’t realize the important lobbying work done by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN). The film brought tears to my eyes as I learned about the sacrifices made by gay and lesbian soldiers — people who just wanted to be able to defend our country without being fired for their sexual orientation. It made me realize once again how important our mission is, every day, to advance workplace equality for all inclusive of all sexual orientations, gender identities, expressions, and characteristics.

Read more about Out & Equal’s response to the repeal of this discriminatory bill.

The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’s First Prime-Time Play is Tuesday, Sept 20

On Sept. 20, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) goes into effect.  HBO will tell the strange-but-true tale of the U.S. military’s ban on gays and lesbians from its implementation, through passionate protests and debates, and finally to its 2011 repeal.  A timely and historical look at the legacy of gays and lesbians in the military, the Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell illustrates the tumultuous evolution of the controversial policy that fostered hate and intolerance within the military – and undermined the very freedoms American forces defend – by forcing many soldiers to lie and live in secrecy.
Directed by Emmy® winners Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, the Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will have a sneak preview Monday, Sept. 19 (midnight-1:30 a.m. ET/PT) on HBO, followed by the documentary’s first prime-time play Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT).

And, if you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, join Out & Equal on September 20th in celebrating the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.



  1. Thank you for this post. FYI – http://Out­Military.c­om has been providing a supportive environmen­t for friending, sharing and networking between Gay active military, vets and supporters since December, 2010.

  2. This is great to hear – I am hoping someone tapes this since I don’t have HBO and would love to see it. I survived three of those witch hunts – 1980 because I played softball, 1983 while I worked in Alaska and then again from 1990-1992 before DADT when they asked about my sexual orientation in a security re-investigation. I lost many friends over the year to discrimination in the military against LGB servicemembers and am thankful for the underground network of men and women who taught me how to survive the system and make it to retirement. I remember every month when my pension check goes into the bank that I am one of the lucky ones. I am hoping that we can add sexual orientaiton in the military to the quote Never Again – Never Forget! I also say to my transgender brothers and sisters in arms – you are not forgotten either and I will be there to support your goal of equality to support and defend this country!


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