When I saw that headline the other day, I thought, ethno-centeredly: oh, that must be a story from Saudi Arabia, or Uganda, you know, one of those countries.
Of course, reality quickly slapped me in the face as I realized that no, this human rights violation was happening in my own country.
Dan Choi stood trial this week before a military panel for the offense of being a gay person. The Arabic translator and Iraq War veteran already knew his fate, as he had publicly announced his sexual orientation in protest of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
“It’s an immoral code that goes against every single thing we were ever taught at West Point with our honour code,” he said, adding that it amounted to firing him “for nothing more than telling the truth about who I am”.
Fortunately, Dan has one of the most renowned human rights advocates on his side. Tila Tequila. Tila says, “Dan Choi is considered a hero to many of us in the human rights movement.” Well, I sure am proud to be part of your movement, Miss Tequila.