After a 35-year campaign, Lisa Weiszmiller has been given an “honorary discharge” by the US Army after she was abused, harassed and ultimately thrown out of the military in 1979. Ms Weiszmiller, 53, is pleased that her records have now been updated to show that she was not “less-than-honorably discharged.”
Back in the late 1970s, her superior officers suspected she was gay and subjected her to interrogations, hard labour and homophobic insults. Ms Weiszmiller, who lives in Oklahoma City, told reporters that, ‘If they [the officers] came upon us, we would have to come to parade rest and they would berate us.’
‘These are queers! These are lesbians! Stay away from these homosexual women . They tried everything they could to break us down.’
Now she intends to persuade the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to compensate her for her post-traumatic stress disorder, which is a direct consequence of her humiliation. Since she was discharged, Ms Weiszmiller has also battled with drug addiction.
Approximately 100,000 servicepeople were sacked from the US armed forces between 1941 and 2011. The Obama Administration ended the controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that stopped openly LGBT people from joining the military.