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Remembering Leonard Matlovich

@ltdanchoi posted this to Twitter today:

TSgt Leonard Matlovich, Gay American Hero, died 22 years ago today. http://tiny.cc/8fd8s #LGBT #DADT

and the link below is a Youtube video that is a must watch video. One of the reasons why I have not been a big fan of the recent compromise to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) is because of people like Leonard Matlovich who was discharged for being gay, long before DADT existed. The repeal does not allow gay and lesbian service members to serve openly. It simply returns things to the way they were before DADT was passed- a time when heroes like Leonard Matlovich were discharged. The epitath on his grave marker (also seen on his AIDS Quilt panel) reads:

When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.

In Memorium, Leonard Matlovich

In a recent dialogue on Facebook about the failings of Pride, someone commented that GLBT’s today don’t know their history, and don’t know the names of the heroes that have come before us. Everyone should know the name of Leonard Matlovich.

More info is found at leonardmatlovich.com

2 Comments

  1. Shawn Tedrow says:

    I know I'm a bit late with this post but, somehow I feel that it must be said. I believe that young L.G.B.T. Americans do not know the heros that came before us. They are too busy enjoying the freedoms that they were given to stop and ask “Where did this freedom come from?” I feel it is just as important to know your American history as it is to know your L.G.B.T. history. With so much opposition even today in the Gay community I feel it is vital for all to know where we came from and where we are going. To know the future is to know the history behind it. May Sgt. Lenoard Matlovich's sacrifice be not in vain yet may we continue to remember not only him but those that stand on his shoulders even today in the fight for Equality for all. May his and all the souls that came before us today rest in peace. Let us thank them for what they have done by continuously remembering their fight as it is still our fight today. Thank you and Blessings to all.

    • Thx for the comment Shawn. I too wish many knew more about our gay history, but I wouldn’t lay all the blame on “those who are too busy enjoying freedom…” Our history is intermixed with a larger history of oppression, and silence, and that will take time to unravel. Many don’t experience what they have today as freedom, and the effects of ongoing intolerance plays a piece of it all too. That said, the path ahead is clear. Seeking justice includes not only generating visibility for LGBT’s but also educating and empowering LGBT’s to speak out and demand equality. Freedom is more of a goal and a path, than it is a concrete thing we either have or don’t have. And we need to start today to work to grow it. Knowing our past is a big step forward towards than goal too.

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