Lt. Dan Choi

About Lt. Dan Choi

Lt. Dan Choi, a West Point graduate and Iraq veteran - one of only eight students in his graduating class fluent in Arabic - announced that he was gay on 'The Rachel Maddow Show' on March 19, 2009. Because of three words – “I am gay”– Lt. Choi’s life changed forever. Despite his extreme value as an Arabic speaker able to communicate quickly and clearly with the Iraqi people, one month after his announcement Lt. Dan Choi was notified that the Army had begun discharge proceedings against him. After protests, petitions, and hard work, Lt. Choi fought for the eventual repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ Lt. Choi continues to advocate for full LGBT civil rights and veteran's health. He has served as Grand Marshal of the San Francisco, New York City, Miami, and Wichita Kansas LGBT Pride parades, as well as the Amsterdam Canal Pride in the Netherlands, and the illegal Moscow Russia Pride Parade where Lt. Choi and several Russians were beaten by neo nazis and secret police.

The Twitter Perspective

Lessons from Lt. Dan Choi

To start a speech in loud, excited Arabic is more than a hook. Lt. Dan Choi drew the audience’s attention and held it without exemption for the remainder of his time on stage. The translation of the foreign language was one of shock, he and his fellow soldiers had been given bad information, and the nearby mosque was not friendly. In the heat of battle it didn’t matter what preferences for companionship one held, only the ability to survive.

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Photos from the Lecture