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Time’s “Battleland” Officer X Comes Out

Karl Johnson, the young U.S. military pilot who has been blogging on Time’s “Battleland” anonymously since May has came out of the closet

Officer X has kept his identity hidden because under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” saying he was gay could have ended his military career.

Karl Johnson published his own coming out story on a blog post titled Office Behind the mask:

What a fascinating time to be a gay man in the U.S. military. This time last year, I was sure the ?Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? (DADT) policy was here to stay for the next 2 to 3 years.

These initial words from my first post on Battleland are as true today as they were when I first Photoshopped a hastily-taken picture from my iPad, and created an iconic silhouette. As of today, Officer X is no more. With a Velcro riiiip I can now remove that name tape from the chest of my proverbial blogger flight suit and replace it with one that says ?Karl Johnson?.

A 25 year old — who flies U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo jets and has a degree in mechanical engineering from Syracuse University — may seem like an unlikely candidate to blog for TIME, or wear the hat of an activist. At first the idea of writing for Battleland was nothing short of intimidating, but the decision of whether or not to accept was easy: the opportunity to give a voice to those of us who have been voiceless for years, as a matter of federal law, was too good to pass up.

Read the full article via TIME BATTLELAND BLOG