Thursday, September 17, 2015

What's it like to be gay at West Point?

The West Point pillow fight scandal reminded me of the classier side of the Academy I witnessed this spring. I described it in my Vanity Fair piece, What’s It Like to Be a Gay Cadet at West Point These Days?

The opening:
Sara Emsley always knew she wanted to join the U.S. Army, ever since she was a small child. “You can ask any of the kids I made go through an obstacle course at my sixth birthday party,” the West Point cadet recently said. She dressed up as soldier for Halloween for “many, many years,” and never paused to worry about whether the military would let a girl like her fight.
Then she hit adolescence and began to discover her sexuality. She didn’t like what she felt. Girls like that were forbidden from serving, so she denied her own urges. She couldn’t let them stand in the way of her dream.
Emsley first went to college at Virginia Tech, where she finally came out to herself and trusted others, but hid her sexuality from her peers in the college’s R.O.T.C. program. By then, the military had lifted its absurd “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, but Emsley still felt it was too dangerous to say anything. Then the U.S. Military Academy at West Point accepted her.
Continue reading What’s It Like to Be a Gay Cadet at West Point These Days?

And of course I came upon this while researching the book I'm working on about two gay soldiers. There's a preview of it linked there. Or click here if you'd like to be notified when it comes out.

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ICYMI: My Vanity Fair tribute to breakout bestseller Lucia Berlin & how she transformed my writing. 

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