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In many states, from Bremerman’s time until current day, a dishonorable discharge is treated as a felony.All service members with this characterization are barred from future military service, and depending on the severity of the discharge received, they may also be blocked from voting, unemployment benefits, participating in the GI Bill, or receiving veteran benefits such as health care, Department of Veterans Affairs disability, and ceremonial burial rights at military cemeteries.Joseph Mc Carthy and his followers continued to propagate the fear of the “homosexual menace.” On April 27, 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower signed Executive Order 10450, titled “Security Requirements for Government Employment.” This order justified the firing of federal employees for “sexual perversion,” a classification that encompassed homosexuality.According to the National Defense Research Institute, it is estimated that dismissals from federal jobs increased tenfold in the wake of Eisenhower’s order.The committee argued that homosexuals would betray their country rather than live with the consequences of being outed for their sexual orientation.The hunt for subversives took on an increasingly oppressive tone as Sen.“I was openly gay in college, having a wonderful time.The anti-war protests were raging and I was neutral, but then my classmates, who took their freedom for granted, burned the American flag and it pushed my button. It’s time to pay my country for my family’s freedom,” said Meyer.

The damaging homophobic stereotypes that solidified during this period of history persisted until the 1960s, when the LGBT community began to fight back.Buzz Feed News spoke to LGBT veterans of the Korean War, Vietnam War era, Desert Storm, and the Iraq War to hear their personal experiences of resisting discrimination and fighting the tenacious battle for equality in the armed forces.As the son of Holocaust survivors, Vietnam-era veteran Denny Meyer was raised to believe that there was nothing more important than speaking up in the face of oppression.From a closeted gay sailor who typed the dishonorable discharges for Korean War servicemen accused of homosexuality, to a lesbian correctively raped by Marines while serving in Desert Storm, these are the stories of LGBT veterans and their decades-long fight for equality in the armed forces.Throughout 1952, Otto Bremerman sat at his military desk in the personnel office of the Pearl Harbor Naval Base, typing up dishonorable discharges for sailors who had been accused of homosexuality.

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