Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
Tonight, I did something I haven’t done in 15 years. I stood up, placed my right hand over my heart, and sang all the lyrics to the first verse of the National Anthem.
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
It was 1996, and my country had just done something despicable. How could I proclaim pride in the symbol of my country and look myself in the mirror?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
After a long, bitter fight, liberals caved to social conservatives hatred of homosexuals.
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
The result? First, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) in late 1993, and then the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996, twin beacons of bigotry.
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Since the National Anthem is about a military engagement, I choose it for my protest of DADT.
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
I choose a silent protest, in honor of the soldiers forced into silence. Though silent, they were still there, protecting my freedom even though their own freedom had been denied.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
But we never gave up fighting for their freedom, and on September 20th, 2011, DADT was finally repealed.
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
So tonight, I can proudly honor the symbol of our country, now that the brave are finally free.
Note: This post was originally written in late September in anticipation of singing along to a televised flag ceremony at a sporting event. Unfortunately, it took nearly a month before I finally managed to catch one without disruption.