Asking and telling: Lesbian vets post-DADT

Lesbian soldier

Kathy Borkowski
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Kathy Borkoski’s parents were both career Navy vets, so her own service seemed a given. Terra Lathrop felt aimless in college and joined the Navy for a sense of purpose and to have an adventure. Eva Belanger saw a high school friend in an Air Force uniform and felt inspired to sign up herself. These women were just like many other volunteers for the armed services, eager to wear a uniform and be part of a team. They were just like everyone else—except for one thing.

“I didn’t figure it out until I was already in,” says Borkoski. “By then I’d signed the paperwork promising that I wouldn’t be gay.”

All three of these women are veterans, all three served in Iraq under the shadow of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and all three came home to face a different challenge: finally being honest about who they are after careers of secrecy.

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