Thursday, March 01, 2012

Quote Of The Day - Sgt. Brandon Morgan

Like the photo of a returning female sailor returning to port in Virginia Beach being kissed by her partner not so long ago, the photo of Sergeant Brandon Morgan kissing his partner (I posted about the homecoming recently) has become emblematic of the new U. S. military where gay and lesbians can proudly serve their country without hiding who they are and constantly fearing witch hunts and forced discharge. In this region with a huge military personnel presence, the repeal of DADT has been a wonderful development.

Brandon Morgan spoke with The Daily Beast and it is instructive that like so many of us in the LGBT community for a period of time he threw himself into religion in an effort to deny that God had made him gay. Having engaged in that pattern myself for roughly 37 years, I fully understand why so many of us try to deny our reality. I also know all too well the amount of wasted energy and hidden internal strife (and outright self-hatred) that such denial engenders. Here are some highlights from The Daily Beast interview:

When Marine Sgt. Brandon Morgan, 25, returned home to Hawaii on Feb. 22 from a deployment in Afghanistan, he found partner Dalan Wells, 38, waiting for him. When a friend snapped a photo of their welcome-home kiss and posted it online, it quickly went viral and has been viewed tens of thousands of times on blogs and Facebook. It has been interpreted as a sign of a more open military in the wake of the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Sergeant Morgan tells Matthew DeLuca how the photo came to be.

I used to be a very, very fanatical Christian, not that there’s anything wrong with being a Christian, but my beliefs, my core beliefs, definitely have changed as I’ve grown up because of the way I live, the way I am. I joined the Marine Corps because I felt I wanted to be the voice of God in the Marine Corps.

I’m pretty sure people very close to me like my mother, my father, and my sister always knew that there was something different about me. I was always at the church, and had those values, had that idea that homosexuality was wrong according to the Christian faith.

Eventually, nature comes out.

I was married at one point to a woman, but that was a huge mistake, because looking through my faith beliefs I mistook a friendship and thought it was love
, which it wasn’t. It took so many mistakes in my life to have the courage to know who I was.

Dalan works on the base and we actually met at the Single Marine and Sailor Program. I walked in and I saw him, and I have to say it was love at first sight. I’ve loved that man ever since I first saw him.

Dalan and I have known each other for four years, and we’ve been really good friends. He helped me through the divorce. As time went on and we were ramping up to deploy, I asked him out, as I knew who I was but couldn’t come out under the DOD policy [“don’t ask, don’t tell”]. He said no because there is a significant age difference.

Every email he sent me I would read a hundred times. Weeks just flew by and I couldn’t wait to get home, and I was like, “When I get home, I’m going to give him the best kiss I can think of.”

All my superiors are happy for me that I finally have a love, someone to be with, that I’m not always hanging out at the single Marine center on the weekend. I believe that the general consensus was that the military didn’t want this, but the people who say that can’t really speak on the behalf of my Marines. My Marines, my family, have welcomed me, they’ve been very happy for me. We’re a family. They care for me the way they always have.

I was a little worried, to be honest. I was afraid that some people’s views of me might change. But that was just my own personal misgiving, a fear I had to overcome. I should have had more faith in my Marines than that. I’m not always right, and I was very glad I was wrong about that.

No doubt this beautiful story of love and two souls finding each other will have Elaine Donnelly, Tony Perkins, Maggie Gallagher and similar hate merchants in convulsions with sheets of spittle flying across the room. But, love is love and who are we to presume that God, the creator, Allah, or whoever made a mistake when he/she made some of us gay and allowed us to find pure, sincere and unselfish love with some of the same sex? To me, it's those who question God's creation who are the blasphemers, not LGBT individuals.

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