Mackenzie Claude has spoken about his time in the Marines in an exclusive interview with TheGayUK, revealing that being good at your job was more important than your sexuality.
Former Marine turned drag queen Mackenzie Claude AKA Nebraska Thunderf**k who starred in season five of RuPaul’s Drag Race has spoken about how the Marine’s treated him in a time of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, revealing that they really didn’t care about his sexuality.
Don’t Ask / Don’t Tell was a compromise policy in which gay and lesbian service people were allowed to serve the US military from 1993 to 2011. It originated from the Clinton administration. However gays and lesbian could not be openly gay.
Speaking about his enlistment, Mackenzie said,
Well, I enlisted under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, so I was open in my personal life, but when I joined the military I was advised to go back into the closet and I did. This was going to be a career that I was embarking on and I didn’t want anything to get in the way of my hard work and my commitment. With Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, if the wrong person found out that you were gay, or suspected you of being homosexual, they could present that to the chain of command and there would be an investigation that would take place. You could be discharged from the military simply for being homosexual”
However it was in the Marines where Mackenzie learned the truth about what they truly felt about homosexuality.
After a couple of years serving with these people in the Marines I learned something, that the Marines don’t give a fu*k if you’re gay or straight, they just care that you do your job right. I was a good medic, so eventually I was able to open up to them. We have a lot of downtime in the military, so we pass it by sharing stories and they were fascinated by mine. They had so many questions and were so open and welcoming. The military was a very positive experience for me.
President Obama ended DADO on September 20th 2011.
Read Mackenzie’s full interview in the latest issue of THEGAYUK