Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: What is it? Why was it repealed?

In 1994, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) became a federal policy for the U.S. military, specifically for people who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. This policy was an open and legal form of discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. The basis for DADT was that anyone in the LGBTQ+ community would in some way disrupt other’s abilities to complete their duties. Many service members had to hide and not talk about their sexual orientation because if they did, they could be discharged from the military. During the 17 years DADT was in effect, around 13,000 military members were discharged. 

DADT became an act of repeal on September 20, 2010. It was overturned on December 18, 2010 and fully repealed on September 20, 2011. Now, the LGBTQ+ community can openly serve in the military without the thought of losing their job lingering over them.  Of course, this does not solve all the issues surrounding LGBTQ+ rights and the military but it is a start. Before 2021, transgender people were banned from being in the military. Although these repeals are progression, the harm and trauma it has caused cannot be changed as easily.