Should I be concerned for my DD? All help appreciated

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by carolina45, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. carolina45

    carolina45 New Member

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    Hi All, my DD is a 3Q, currently in the waiting process. She is very excited about USMA and has wanted to go since she was little. However, I am a little worried about how she'll fair there. She came out as gay to my wife and I last fall, and while we are 100% supportive of her in every way I can not help but worry about that she will be treated differently/poorly at USMA. I know that Don't Ask Dont Tell was revoked a few years ago, but a father will always worry. Sometimes so much that I cannot fall asleep at night.

    If anyone can offer any advice I would appreciate it very much. I am supportive of my daughter and incredibly proud of her. But I want to make sure that she will be happy and SAFE wherever she goes. I have faith in the Military and their ability to lead and function without discrimination. But I don't want her to be held back by anything, especially something thats a part of her. She has been through a lot and I would never be able to ask her to go back in the closet.

    I will be keeping my and my DD's identity and personal information private for obvious reasons. Thank you for understanding and any and all insight is appreciated.
     
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  2. VelveteenR

    VelveteenR Just gathering dust in the nursery...

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    What do you fear, exactly? Does she plan to flaunt her sexuality in some inappropriate way? I’m betting she doesn’t. I’m also betting that sexual preferences are as uninteresting in the military as they have become in the civilian world. I think you’re way overthinking this, but that’s what we parents do. :)
     
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  3. KYparent

    KYparent Member

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    I am not sure how much this helps, but if my DD ends up with an appointment (waiting, waiting, waiting) your DD will definitely have an ally in the class. My DD is straight but she would not put up with any sexual orientation discrimination aimed at others. Good luck to your DD.
     
  4. Parent of 4

    Parent of 4 Member

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    Keep in mind your DD’s prospective classmates are the best of the best. Not only will she be safe at WP she will likely be looked after better than anywhere else she could possibly be.

    Parents worry, it’s what we do but in this case I would not lose sleep over it.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I don't think you'll need to be any more concerned for her there than at any other college.
     
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  6. random_name

    random_name Member

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    There is a great recent thread that exists on this subject if you can locate it.

    I totally understand there are legitimate concerns you have. You don't have to "flaunt" your sexuality to face negative comments, taunts or subtle put downs. At least that is how it was in the past. Until you have a gay child you don't truly understand the fears parents of gay children have. All you have to do is watch the news to see the level of hatred and bigotry that still exists in the world and even in our local communities and high schools so I totally get your concerns. With that being said I strongly believe that things have changed for the better in American colleges and universities.

    I have a gay child in a small conservative school and we too were up at night with our concerns. Students know his he is gay without flaunting it and they have been surprisingly supportive. The world can be a very bigoted place but much less so with the younger generations thank goodness. They seem to be much more tolerant of their gay peers and mostly accepting from what we have experienced. I really think American colleges, universities and the Service Academies are more on top of discrimination that goes on and seem to have a zero tolerance policy towards it.

    I really believe what the others above have said that your DD will be able to be herself and will find a supportive bunch of peers. I would have had no trouble sending my gay son to a service academy. My DD will be attending in the fall and she has said that in SA chat groups and message boards she belongs to that the issue comes up and has been discussed and no one cares, in fact they have shown support and kindness.

    The academy probably has groups like spectrum that offer support that she might want to join. There are also academy support groups online for current gay academy members run by gay alumni if I recall. You might want to reach out to them as well. Good luck to your DD! I am sure she will do well and will find all the support and friendships she will need to be successful.
     
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  7. Parent of 4

    Parent of 4 Member

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    WOW. Awesome post.
     
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  8. random_name

    random_name Member

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    thank you!
     
  9. NovaGrad

    NovaGrad Member

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    This is a very singular perspective as it is only in relation to my DD. But she is and I believe most Millenials are a much more progressive generation and even if they have beliefs/orientations that are not the same as your daughters they are very respective of individual choice. I think the same rules apply to all men/women going in as Plebes--- Look, listen, learn, execute- be an effective piece of the moving whole! What keeps me up at night is that I am sending my DD off to defend this country and the possibility that she could pay the ultimate price. I have seen the first wave of appointments and my DD knows many of them through sports camps, STEM, summer programs and they have thoroughly impressed us with there integrity and focus. Good Luck to your daughter with appointment!
     
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  10. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    Here are some of my feelings that I attempted to ease my wife's concerns about her daughter joining the Army.

    The Academy is a cross section of America so you will see all types of individuals with all types of backgrounds.

    Will there be people that may treat her different? Probably So.

    But Would some people treat her different at a normal college? Probably So.

    That is still the world we live in.

    What makes the Academy different is that the vast majority of cadets have outstanding character and will stand up when some one is doing the wrong thing. This is not the same at a normal college.

    She will develop life long bonds with her classmates and these classmates will have her back no matter what.

    I actually have a Transgender classmate and anyone of us would have her back if some one said the wrong thing to her.
     
  11. SR-71

    SR-71 5-Year Member

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  12. another13mom

    another13mom 10-Year Member

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    My daughter (straight) graduated last year. There are many gay cadets (female and male). One young man brought his male date to class events with full support of his friends and classmates, and two female cadets recently announced their engagement. Yes, there are some neanderthals, but they are fewer and further between and this is just not an issue. Be respectful of others, don't be a jerk, help out when you can, and cadet life is more than doable.
     
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  13. Hoosiermom18

    Hoosiermom18 Member

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    I understand your concern. When my ds first expressed interest in USMA(our family has no military background) I was terrified because I'd just read an article in the New York Times about the basic training the marines do near Charleston and the death of a Muslim recruit. My DS isn't gay or Muslim, and he basically looks like a G.I. Joe, so it wasn't that I thought he'd be a target, but I didn't want him in a place where other people are targets. I did not know anything at all about West Point. My knowledge of the military and military academies was strictly from movies and t.v. If you want to be a lawyer like the ones in A Few Good Men---great! But what about those guys in Platoon?! Yikes!

    One of the first things he pointed out to me is that they have a LGBT club on campus---because he knows the way to calm down his hippie liberal mom. :) I can't speak to the actual on campus experience because we're still in the waiting place, but one thing that really struck me on our tour is that this is a really, really good school---very tough, and very highly ranked academically. That is what won me over.

    I hope your dd and my ds end up being classmates! And I hope you get some sleep. It's a tough road for parents too. When I sent my oldest son off to college I was constantly reminding him to stay off balconies because college students seem to fall off them a lot. I still tell him he's not allowed on them and he's 28. He finally said, "Mom, how many balconies do you think I am around?!" But this USMA stuff, this is real. They're signing up for something incredible, and dangerous. I have just given it up, because I'm awed by his desire to serve. And amazed, because I would never voluntarily choose anything that required me to get up so early as I've spent most of my adult life trying to avoid that.
     
  14. Hoosiermom18

    Hoosiermom18 Member

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    Also there was a gay wedding at West Point---saw the announcement in the New York Times. :)
     
  15. DrMom

    DrMom 5-Year Member

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    When the ban on Same Sex Marriage was lifted, the Dept of Defense stepped up to the plate with a host of policies toward empowering love and acknowledging that gay married couples have exactly the same rights and exactly the same benefits. To listen to the old generals and admirals on CNN or C-SPAN you would have thought that the world would end. However, the Nation changed while those men were successfully serving and leading for 305+ years...and the military changes. Today's soldiers, sailors, airmen & Marines and their officers simply do not care (as long as you are not hitting on your straight friends)--they just want you to do your job well and with dedication regardless of who you love. I have one who graduated a couple of years ago--and there were gay and lesbian members of the Corps of Cadets (friends, sports team members, in the company)--and it was not an issue. Actually, the First Captain was 'outted' at graduation by the Vice President in a totally awkward moment--like what if he was not out to his Grandma yet? Now everyone knew...but it was fine.
    I would be more worried about my son or daughter who was gay going to an uber-conservative school in a rural area; West Point? Don't worry about it. It will be ok.
    Worry about something else--like how many pairs of socks to bring on R-Day and which pair of boots to order from the Boot Letter.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  16. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Make sure they are Fox River! Lol!
     
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  17. carolina45

    carolina45 New Member

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    My gosh. Thank you everyone for responding. I was expecting one, maybe two replies. Thank you all for the kind words. As many of you said, West Point Cadets are among the most honorable and distinguished individuals. Just reading some of your comments I know my DD will be in good company if she gets in. Now back to waiting.
     
  18. NovaGrad

    NovaGrad Member

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    Just ordered 7 pairs of black Military wicking boot height Fox River socks along with DD Khyber boots. This forum has been an incredible source of information down to the smallest of details!
     
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  19. Parent of 4

    Parent of 4 Member

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    You damn near need a 2nd mortgage just for the socks they need for Beast! 10 pairs white and 10 pairs black at about $12.00 a pair, ouch!

    But of course we will all happily buy them.
     
  20. VelveteenR

    VelveteenR Just gathering dust in the nursery...

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    We didn’t buy a thing for Beast. If DS thought he needed anything the government wasn’t going to supply, I guess he bought it himself, no clue. For new people lurking here who may be concerned about costs, please know that your kid can show up with just the shirt on his back and be OK. Everything s/he needs will be issued. Lots of people here like to jump the gun and buy fancier things or have their own definition of “needs,” and that’s OK, but totally not necessary. Even the $2K upfront deposit is not necessary. If a family can’t afford that, it will be deducted in increments from cadet pay. So, no worries.
     
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