Serving in the military is one of the greatest honors anyone could dream of achieving. For the LGBTQ+ community, it's a challenging and brave decision, one where members' identities are inexplicably intertwined with their service. As a military lifestyle encompasses more commitment than a civilian, it's reasonable for gay men to examine if this life-changing decision is appropriate for them and best dating options (apps and websites) it provides.
Contributing to a pivotal part of society provides unique opportunities such as work experience, extensive travel, and financial benefits. Being gay in the army, however, beckons soldiers to struggle with their sexuality while ensuring freedom and liberty for all. Before entering the military, consider what it's like to live an authentic and proud lifestyle, including dating experience while serving your country.
Though gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals can serve in the military openly as of 2020, disclosing their sexuality is a personal preference. The military and government clashes with LGBTQ+ rights add obstacles for soldiers to receive equal treatment. Wearing a uniform with pride can be tainted by a lack of protection by U.S. representatives and higher-ranking officers as well as inspire gay soldiers to fight for more respect.
Brief History of Gay Men in the Military
As the LGBTQ+ community makes significant strides towards equality, every service member contributes to the greater good while withstanding fundamental political rifts. When the President or Congress' agenda alternates between support and opposition, the military's policies reflect those setbacks and achievements:
- Homosexuality in the military was a non-issue until World War II. Many gay men and women served honorably during the 1940s, but it became more difficult in the coming years.
- When homosexuality was declared a "mental health issue" in the early 20th Century, enlistment screening became a vested interest. Showing effeminate qualities or same-sex romantic interests made gay guys a target for harassment and/or discharge from service.
- In the 1960s, millions of men were drafted and volunteered for the Vietnam and Korean War. Screening criteria for homosexuality temporarily lapsed when more soldiers joined the military to extradite the enlistment process.
- It wasn't until 1982 that the Department of Defense officially declared that homosexuality was incompatible with the armed service. Thousands of gay men and women were honorably discharged.
- By the 1990s, gay and lesbian activists led the charge for reversing this policy. The Republican-led Congress pushed for and succeeded with passing the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy in the military in 1994. Service members could not be explicitly terminated based on sexual orientation, however, any same-sex affiliations or sexuality disclosure became a basis for involuntary discharge. The Obama administration repealed DADT in 2011.
- In 2019, President Donald Trump invoked a ban against most transgender individuals to join the military and instated a "Deploy or Get Out" policy that removed military personnel living HIV from service.
LGBTQ+ Culture in the Military
Though gay men serve openly in the military, those who shield their sexuality tend to separate their relationships and dating experience from their work. While this decision attempts to ensure boundaries against the judgment, it also raises questions about whether the rewards are worth the risks for LGBTQ+ individuals in the military:
- The military invokes an atmosphere of demonstrating excessive masculinity and fortitude. Most gay men might not regard being or looking muscular an issue, while others feel unwarranted pressure to exert their grit.
- Social capital in the military means proving yourself as capable to your colleagues and superiors. Brushing off ridicule, insults, and hate crimes, unfortunately, helps them avoid being seen as weak or incompetent.
- A zero-tolerance policy for prejudice varies between bases. Justice for sex discrimination and reports of harassment commonly hinges on the authority of higher-ranking officers willing to take action.
- PTSD compounds feelings of shame, guilt, and sadness about being openly gay or closeted. Issues of homophobia can create complex beliefs of failing to feel like a "real" soldier based on how they're treated during their duty.
Coming Out of the Closet as the Military Guy
Gay men, women, transgender, and bisexual soldiers want the same respected treatment as their heterosexual counterparts. Coming out of the closet in the military wavers on two ends of the spectrum of living openly or closeted.
- Building camaraderie with other LGBTQ+ service-people provides a prominent source of support and understanding. However, these relationships and dating experience are sometimes kept secret if others' sexuality is not openly disclosed.
- Similar to treatment by superior officers, some gay men don't experience issues in the barracks or confiding in trusted heterosexual bunkmates. It depends on the values and morals of their peers.
- Homophobic soldiers can target gay soldiers of false sexual or assault allegations and other things. Their sexuality can also make it problematic for gay soldiers to file reports of injustice.
- Veterans and volunteer groups celebrate fellow military members no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity. Being a member of this community, in addition to giving back to the U.S., can serve as its own reward.
Tips for Military Gay Dating
Anyone who serves in the military regardless of their sexuality should be able to find someone who supports their sacrifices and makes them feel loved when they return home. Depending on whether you are out or closeted while serving in the military, drawing a line between your personal life, including dating and professional obligations, will be a balance you have to strive.
- The vulnerability can be arduous to share between civilians and military members. Take time to establish trust and break down barriers.
- A civilian partner's life at home doesn't stop once their partner deploys, and vice versa. It's natural if one or both of you feel like you are missing out on significant events or changes.
- Being consistently separated from each other for an extended period can cause strain on a relationship. Communication, loyalty, and intimacy beyond physical attraction provide a sturdy foundation for growth and commitment.
- Not every soldier experiences significant PTSD, but invisible wounds can make a soldier feel burdensome to discuss his experiences. Remain vigilant for significant differences in behavior and if/when to seek help.
Dating Sites and Apps for Gay Military Members
When you're living on a foreign base out of the country or trying to settle down locally, dating can be demanding when you're following orders. However, Cupid is always on the look-out for gay guys who want to hook-up or initiate a relationship or other sort of dating with a military member. There are always scam-free dating apps, sites and forums to make your life easier, though.
Army Dating Service
Before you make your first move on Army Dating Service, familiarize yourself with the dating site and its features before registration. You can build trust with the site by exploring the help center and following safe dating tips, and then put your free membership to good use. Although it's a relatively new dating site with a small user base of 100,000 members, you can hang out in web-enabled chat rooms, upload photos, and post status updates. The free sign-up includes as many benefits as its paid membership.
Don't let the dating site's simple interface deter you from finding that someone special. MilitaryCupid bridges connections between 600,000 LGBTQ+ singles in the military and those looking to date single service members. Basic membership is free to browse profiles, search based on military branch, and show interest in fellow members. Upgraded gold and silver memberships provide more access to sending messages, watch videos, and include personal information in instant messaging.
Military Dating App
From every walk of life and military branch, Military Dating App in the App Store wants you to feel safe in the arms of the military guy you love. Meet a new friend or make a romantic connection with loving and supportive matches with this app. Dating is made easy by double-tapping profiles you like and then starting a conversation with other app users that might lead to something more. The dating app is free to use for its basic features and offers discounts for paid subscriptions.
In this app (availiable both for iOS and Android), you can find all kinds of partners for dating, including military guys. Willing to meet a gay man wearing a uniform? Choose an appropriate profile image and tell him about your preferences!
Regardless of whether you are still serving or has just been dispatched, dating a gay partner can be challenging but rewarding. Just consider tips and hints above along with dating options available to make your dating experience smoother and more pleasant. Enjoy who you are and wear the uniform proudly.