I’m a children’s advocate. I can’t stand to see a child suffer. From Bilerico:
[Author, Dana Rudolph’s note: I first published this piece two years ago, when I had the honor of interviewing a lesbian-mom couple, one of whom is an active-duty military officer. Given the recent news about possible progress on a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, it seemed timely to repost it, to remind us all of DADT’s impact on the youngest members of our society. Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the family.]
Five-year-old William and three-year-old Ryan are the children of decorated U.S. Army officer Cheryl Parker. Like other children of service members, they have dealt with cross-country moves and months without their mother while she was deployed in Iraq. Unlike the others, however, they must forgo many benefits, conveniences and support services offered to military families, or risk revealing that they have another mother, Donna Lewis. This could lead to Parker’s dismissal under the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, even in LGBT-friendly Massachusetts.
In the close-knit community of an army base, there is a strong chance the young children will inadvertently out their mothers. “When I tried to put William in on-base daycare,” explains Parker, “he would talk about having two moms. A lot of the daycare workers are spouses of military personnel. I don’t need somebody’s wife saying ‘What’s the deal with William Parker?'” The same applies to the other activities provided by the Army family centers, such as kiddie gym classes. “The questions start and then the lying begins, and it’s just too complicated.”