Being Gay at West Point -Zoe Kreitenberg ‘16

Check out this article in the Past In Review by Zoe Kreitenberg ‘16 as she discusses being gay at West Point. 

 

Who I choose to date is typically none of your damn business, so when I was asked to write this piece for Past in Review, I was notably apprehensive. While I am far from shy about my sexuality, I am also not one to broadcast it. In my professional interactions, sexuality is an irrelevant part of my identity. In my personal interactions, I discuss my relationships in the same contexts I would if I were straight. West Point is a vegetable soup of almost every culture and subculture in the United States. West Point’s broth tastes like “duty, honor, country,” but the remaining chunks distinguish Southerners from Westerners or Northerners from Texans. These cultural differences present themselves in a variety of social situations and political debates. In such a turbulent time for the culture of sexuality in America, many of my peers have deep trepidations toward “coming out” at West Point, because they fear the uncertainty of responses that may emerge from within the patchwork of our culture. In my own experience, I was quiet about my sexuality for the first few months at the Academy as I felt out my environment. Since then, I have become much more comfortable with and open about my sexuality. This shift stems partly from greater receptiveness throughout American society at large. However, I attribute the change more to my own personal growth, experience, and acclimatization to the lifestyle at West Point. The truth is, being gay at the Academy is no different than being gay anywhere. Some people will hate you for it, some people will love you for it, and most people will be strikingly indifferent, because it simply is not that important. Like anywhere else, being gay at West Point defies cultural norms, but great friends make all the difference. I have been privileged to meet people who support me almost everywhere I turn at the Academy, not because I am gay, but because they love me. My sexuality happens to be a part of my identity, but it is only one of the many important attributes that comprises my persona. Cultural norms are slow to change, but the homophobic vegetables in our soup will continue to dilute. In the mean time, I will rely on great friends and self-certainty for reassurance and strength. -Zoe Kreitenberg ‘16

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commented 2016-09-13 06:23:30 -0400 · Flag
Great read, Zoe! I am applying for the class of ‘21 and I’m nearly finished. I was also accepted into West Points SLE. Does the academy take special notice of the LGBT applicatants or is it harder to get in for them. In other words, can it help you get in b/c it shows diversity? I am gay and black. Good student too!
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commented 2016-06-26 18:16:12 -0400 · Flag
Hi Zoe-I’m writing a book called RE-ENTRY Taking Back Your Life
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commented 2016-06-03 23:44:53 -0400 · Flag
I am hoping to attend the academy class of 21’. Thank you for this piece. God bless you!
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