Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The debates, the trials, the hearings, the surveys, the reports, the demonstrations, and the statistics continually mount up. What seems to get lost in all of the mountains of facts are the very human stories of the people most profoundly affected by this policy, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered service members.
Photojournalist Jo Ann Santangelo set out to correct this. She has revealed the face of this issue by traversing the nation and putting together a collection of photographs of these service members coupled with the stories they have to tell of how this policy negatively impacted on their lives at a time when they had dedicated themselves to our country's service.
Her show, Proud to Serve, opened in New York City at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center on Veterans' Day, November 11, where it generated a lot of excitement in the community. She was kind enough to take the time to walk through the exhibit with me to share some of the details of these courageous individuals' lives.
The photographs in Proud to Serve have been published as an 10" X 8" full-color, soft cover book. It is available directly from Jo Ann's website. The first 100 copies of the book will be signed by Jo Ann.