Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-04-16
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Proposal marks Dance of the Western Suburbs Proposal marks Dance of the Western Suburbs
The women behind the Dance of the Western Suburbs saved the day ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

Dear Mr. President: Chicago Soldier Fights Military Ban
by Tracy Baim
2009-02-11

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email



She wasn't asked. But she did tell.

In a Jan. 26 letter to President Barack Obama, 2nd Lt. Sandy Tsao, 24, came out as a lesbian in the United States Army. The former resident of Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood wrote a fellow former South Sider in his new White House home to tell him she could no longer serve her country because she is a lesbian.

Sunday, Feb. 8, marked the one-year anniversary of Tsao's active duty, full-time service to her country. She is in the regular army, based in Fort Leonard, Mo. Within the next few months, Tsao expects to receive an Article 15 honorable discharge because of homosexual conduct. Despite Obama's claims as a Senator and now U.S. President that he opposes the military's ban, he has now said he will delay work on the topic while it is further studied, despite the fact that dozens of studies have been conducted since Don't Ask, Don't Tell was implemented by President Bill Clinton in the early days of his administration.

These studies predominantly show support of lifting the ban, from both enlisted soldiers and officers. The experience of other nations also shows that the implementation of open service by gay and lesbian people has generally been a non-event.

When Clinton came into office, he tried to remove the existing military gay ban, but faltered quickly and implemented a policy that has been responsible for ruining more than 12,500 lives and which has robbed the military of untold numbers of skilled people, including translators. It no doubt scared away others who wanted to serve. In the early days of his administration, Clinton also experienced the coming out of valuable military personnel, including Soldier of the Year Jose Zuniga, who was kicked out as a result of his speaking out. He now lives in Chicago and works on efforts to overturn Clinton's Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue policy.

Tsao was told by her chain of command that her letter was received by Obama's White House. It was her own free choice to come out. In early February, she wrote to Windy City Times that she had "finished my full medical examination and have finished my last session with my counselor. My counselor has signed an evaluation form that confirms that I am in a healthy mental state."

"Originally I planned to leave quietly and reenlist in the Marines if the policy changed, but I was getting so lonely and tired of people cracking gay jokes and not being able to talk to my friend because of the policy," Tsao wrote. "I was getting so fed up that I finally decided to tell the truth." Tsao plans to return to Chicago to finish an engineering degree.

Tsao's letter to President Brack Obama is dated Jan. 26, 2009. It reads:

"I am a Second Lieutenant currently serving in the United States Army. In addition to being an officer, I am a Christian, a woman and a Chinese-American. I am proud of all these identities. Lastly, I am also a homosexual. On December 21, 2007, I was appointed as an army officer. In the oath of office I swore that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Unfortunately, I will not be able to fulfill this oath because the current policy regarding sexual orientation contradicts my values as a moral human being.

"Today is Chinese New Year day. I hope it will bring good fortune to you and your newly elected office. Today is also the day I inform my chain of command of who I am. One of the 7 army values is integrity. It means choosing to do the right thing no matter what the consequences may be. As a Christian, this also means living an honest life. I cannot live up to this value unless my workplace 'provides an environment free of unlawful discrimination and offensive behavior'. [ Excerpt from the U.S. Army's Equal Opportunity Branch ( EO ) Mission Statement. ]

"We have the best military in the world and I would like to continue to be part of it. My mother can tell you it is my dream to serve our country. I have fought and overcome many barriers to arrive at the point I am at today. This is the only battle I fear I may lose. Even if it is too late for me, I do hope, Mr. President, that you will help us to win the war against prejudice so that future generations will continue to work together and fight for our freedoms regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.

"Respectfully, Sandy Tsao, 2LT, MP."

Tsao grew up on Chicago's Southwest Side, in Bridgeport, home of many former Chicago mayors, and the place Mayor Richard M. Daley was raised. She graduated from Whitney M. Young Magnet High School and received her bachelor's in communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2007.

Tsao's parents are both Chinese. Her mother is from Hong Kong and her father is from Burma ( Myanmar ) . Tsao is a first-generation American. Her father's younger brother served in the Army as an enlisted solder.

Finally, Tsao does not blame her commanders for simply following the law; she said they have no choice. If the ban were to be lifted, she would like to have a career in the military.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.

Transgender military veterans rRequest corrected records 2014-04-16
Trans 100 host Ross on seeking peace, happiness 2014-03-26
Rob Smith: Not your typical veteran 2014-03-25
Gov. Jerry Brown gets LGBT award; AVER co-founder dies 2014-03-19
Former Surgeon General faults military's transgender ban 2014-03-13
US ranked 40 in Global Index on LGBT Inclusion in military 2014-02-20
Colombian gay soldier tells story in new book 2014-02-18
Colombian gay soldier tells story in new book 2014-02-18
Married military spouses cannot accompany to many stations 2014-01-17
New sexual assault stats reveal hostile climate at military academies 2014-01-10
Gay military couple video journey to Uniformed Military March 2013-12-28
ASK LAMBDA LEGAL Military spousal benefits 2013-12-17
Defense bill worries some 2013-12-11
Report: LGBT service members face harassment, victimization 2013-12-10
Texas National Guard relents on military benefits case 2013-11-27
Former Defense Secretary Gates to lead Boy Scouts 2013-11-19
Sec Def to state National Guards: Process same-sex benefits 2013-11-01
Veteran takes up marriage cause 2013-10-30
TransMilitary reality series will contrast open U.K. service with U.S. ban 2013-10-16
DoD to recognize same-sex marriage certificates from New Mexico 2013-09-11
Texas, Mississippi deny same-sex benefits 2013-09-11
Booed gay soldier addresses gay veteran health event in Chicago 2013-09-08
National LGBT Veterans Memorial Project offers design contest 2013-09-06
DOJ: Same-sex spouses of veterans will have benefits 2013-09-04
Symposium to explain services for LGBT military members, veterans 2013-09-04
Military same-sex spouses eligible for benefits today 2013-09-03
Texas military forces refuse to process same-sex military spouses 2013-09-03
PASSAGES Army Staff Sergeant Darren Manzella 2013-08-30
Judge rules in favor of same-sex military benefits 2013-08-30
Activists respond to sentencing of Manning, who plans to live as a woman 2013-08-22
Gay veteran booed 2013-08-21
Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in prison 2013-08-21
Bradley Manning apologizes in court 2013-08-14
DOD announces same-sex spouse benefits 2013-08-14
Military expected to announce benefits to same-sex spouses 2013-08-14
Great Lakes lesbian fraternization charge thrown out 2013-08-09
New study to weigh transgender military inclusion 2013-08-04
Study: Transgender people face substantial bias in military 2013-08-01
OutServe-SLDN situation results in new LGBT military group 2013-07-23
Former Navy SEAL Kristin Beck talks trans workplace equality 2013-07-11





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
the online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

Lady Tajma Hall dies
 
Gay-owned B&B offers warmth in Rogers Park
 
LGBTQ Senior Housing applications to open up
 
Villa Loretta adds a touch of Hollywood to weddings
 
CHM declares 'One Love' with wedding expo
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now








  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.