"Do Ask... 'Cuz I Want to Tell" by Christopher Villanueva

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010


My name is Christopher Villanueva and I'm a Marine posing for the NOH8 Campaign.  One of the greatest right that this country allows us is the right to expression.  If you ask a hundred people what love is, every person would give you a different answer, and every person would say that was ok.  If we're ok with the dynamic expression of love as a whole, why do we try to mold society as something less than that.

As a Sergeant of Marines, I've taken up some of the toughest challenges any man could endure. I graduated top honor in Corporals Course, second in class in my military training school, expert marksmanship, and always ran a first class physical fitness test.  I made sergeant in 4 years and got to be part of a group of experts that would in the end award me two personal Naval Achievement Medals.  Sound cocky?  No, because in the midst of all this hard work and dedication to the country that I love and that my father also bled for...this would mean nothing under the current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

After 5 years of dedicated service, I turned down a promotion to Staff, a $50,000 re-enlistment bonus, and a choice of duty station because I could not live my life within my own home in fear that someone would see it as a threat to their own lifestyle.  Many of my peers saw me as crazy for turning down such an offer, but they never knew my story.  I granted the military my respect towards its policy while I was in the Corps.  Now it's time for the military to start respecting what its members have to say.
I served my country with as much heart as the next Marine and I'd do it again if need be.  However, we, as a nation and as a people are better than this.  Whether you're straight, bi, gay, lesbian, transgender...we all bleed the same.

As a Marine of the United States, I fight for your rights, as well as those that I'm against.  I fight for my country as well as those countries we ally with.  And today, I will continue to fight for those that have found love, and those that are denied it.


I think that what you are doing is wonderful, and that it was a great thing for you to turn down that promotion and standing up for your rights.

Melissa Kimball 08/15/2010 23:49

YOU are a TRUE hero.

Bill 12/12/2010 16:40

You are Semper Fi in words, deeds and heart <3

Jaime Bengzon 12/14/2010 00:31

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