Justice comes in many forms… When it comes, whether in small doses or as a matter of significance, it is frequently precipitated by acts of courage. This writer has the utmost respect for those who have demonstrated acts of courage in their pursuit of justice. When courage is linked with justice, it can be for a personal cause or “for the greater good” as a means of helping others to open the door for change.
Here are but two cases- one recent and one considerably less recent, but no less impressive!
A recent case for the pairing of courage and justice for the greater good concerns the story of Katie Miller, a former United States Military West Point cadet, Class of 2012. Katie was no slouch as she ranked ninth in a class of 1,157. Although she was attracted to West Point’s holistic educational approach, she realized sometime earlier that her true sexual orientation was that of a lesbian. Katie felt stunted living a double life despite her achievements. Katie saw a window of opportunity to create a positive impact for others in the military who suffered the same torment, as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is not consistent with coming out of the closet.
According to an article from the Yale Daily News, the officer accepting her resignation (versus serving out a commitment of seven years in uniform) told Katie that she was “throwing her life away” and that she should be disciplined enough to “sacrifice a small portion of her life to remain in service.” [LJ- Excuse Me… a small portion of her life??? Why oh why does the military persist in thinking it’s about sex?]
To date, Katie has chosen to complete her education at Yale University, continuing her major in sociology and the opportunity to explore the freedom from oppression in the LGBT community surrounding Yale. Three cheers for Katie! She bucked the system, kept her dignity and continues her educational pursuits….and maybe even ROTC at Yale in the future!
LadyJustice’s heart was touched many years ago by the following story. The fact that it is folded in her wallet and well worn – at least ten years or more is a testament to its value.
This is a re-print of a “PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) Family Profile” written by Glenda Glass, matriarch of the family, in Henderson, Kentucky.
“Our story began on August 15, 1991, the day after my husband and I celebrated our 31st anniversary. As we kissed goodnight, I remember noting how easy and trouble free our life had been: our daughter, Dana had finished her education, married and had a good job. Our son Ben was in his second year of divinity school. Neither of them had given us any problems.
The very next day, Dana came to us to tell us that she was getting divorced and asked for our support. During the conversation, we learned that Ben was coming home to tell us he was gay. In the previous months, both my children had always been supportive of each other. This is one part of the story that makes me happy as a mother…
Our daughter Dana made sure that we understood that Ben could never change; that it is not a choice for him; that he had never planned to admit it but he could no longer live with the lie. As a mother, what happened next, made me cry…
Dana told me that Ben was driving around town in his car waiting for her pre-arranged signal:
If her car was still parked at our home, it meant that we are still talking and he was supposed to keep riding around;
If her car was gone, it meant that she told us and we were not accepting and that he should go home;
But… if Dana told us and we were accepting, she would put the light on in his former bedroom window.
My heart nearly broke… We immediately jumped up and turned on every light in the house including the porch lights, the front spot light, the attic and even…every closet light! When our son drove into the driveway the house was a beacon to him that our love was unconditional and that we would always be there for him. It was a magic moment for all of us.”
Please support PFLAG national or your local chapter…. They need allies as well as those in the community!
Wouldn’t it indeed be wonderful if each of us could have every light turned on for us? That’s the day I live for!!
Moral of the story: When courage is paired with justice, wonderful things happen!
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