Lt. Dan Choi shares message of equality
“I thought I was being selfless, concealing who I am,” he said. “It was my duty to keep that to myself.”
On April 5, Choi spoke at UM-Dearborn, sharing his experiences of coming out to his family and to a much larger audience. In 2009, Choi made national headlines when he was honorably discharged from the Army after announcing he was gay on The Rachel Maddow Show. Since that time he has been an advocate for civil rights and helped successfully repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
Students, faculty, staff and members of the community attended the event. Throughout the discussion, Choi weaved in personal anecdotes while focusing on the struggle for equality for the LGBT community.
On his decision to come out to his Southern Baptist family, Choi points to one thing: love. “I finally understood what all you straight people talk about all the time,” Choi said before he recited a few stanzas of Beyonce’s Crazy in Love. “I had to tell people.”
Choi remains hopeful that he will see equality in his lifetime, but not without action. As he concluded, he challenged members of the audience not to stand on the sidelines in the fight for civil rights.
“Your grandchildren will ask what you did,” he said. “What did you do when the fight was raging?”