Before September 2011, no person who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender could serve openly in the United States military. Those who did serve were forced to do so secretly, at great risk to themselves and their families.
In 2011, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed, making it legal for LBG Americans to serve openly without fear of official reprise or discharge. In June 2016, the ban keeping transgender Americans from serving openly was also lifted (temporarily).
Shortly thereafter, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs began to record the stories of veterans and service members from across the state who were forced to serve in silence. BREAKING THE SILENCE captures the experiences of these proud Oregonians, who put themselves at tremendous risk so they could serve the country they love.
2017 USA 51 min
Videographer: Julia Reihs
Producer: Paul Iarrobino, in collaboration with Nathaniel Boehme, ODVA