Skip to main content
Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

Our year-end campaign is happening now!

Happy holidays from the Bridge Michigan team! Feeling festive? Your tax-deductible support of our nonprofit newsroom will help Bridge continue to thrive and prepare for all of the events of 2022. Will you support the Michigan news you rely upon this giving season?

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Pay with PayPal Donate Today

Veteran's tears reflect progress

I was talking to a Vietnam vet -- who happens to be a member of the gay community -- about the repeal of the federal "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" rules for military service. When this Michigan native got the news the ban had been lifted, he just sat down and cried.

These were no tears of sadness, he said, but of complete joy. All those years served in the Armed Forces -- 24 to be exact -- and all those years he carried around a secret.

If anyone knew his sexual orientation as an active duty soldier, there would have been repercussions: at best, discharge; at worst, of making his life a living hell. Back then, he was forced to keep his personal life concealed and separate from his comrades in the field. He never thought, he said, he would ever live to see the day when servicemen and women could serve their country as openly gay soldiers.

While reports of victory celebrations surface, there are still fierce opponents. Despite the victory, transition will not come easy. Sometimes it takes longer for a conservative institution based on tradition to adapt to new policy, but, at least for now, people have a choice -- to come out, or not.

We're not just a news organization, we're also your neighbors

We’ve been there for you with daily Michigan COVID-19 news; reporting on the emergence of the virus, daily numbers with our tracker and dashboard, exploding unemployment, and we finally were able to report on mass vaccine distribution. We report because the news impacts all of us. Will you please donate and help us reach our goal of 15,000 members in 2021?

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Pay with PayPal Donate Now