A lesbian mother with terminal cancer has become the face of Pentagon’s gay pride.
Army Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan, 47, will join the Pentagon on 26 June to pay tribute to the LGBT service members following the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).
Morgan was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, and underwent a double mastectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy to save her life.
For fear of being discharged after 17 years of service for being gay, she also had to keep her civil union with her partner Karen and 5-year-old daughter a secret for 14 years. Morgan and her wife also had to buy health insurance at full cost.
Now Morgan is allowed to serve openly, she says the repeal of DADT has changed her life.
‘I would definitely say this last year has been amazing,’ she told ABC News. ‘Most of us never felt we’d see this.’
She added her colleagues and chain of command have been ‘absolutely supportive,’ making her and her wife ‘feel like, not only are we accepted, but we can publicly participate in functions that we couldn’t before.’
After the elation of finally being treated equally, Morgan was diagnosed with terminal stage 4 cancer and has been told by doctors she has months to live.
Now in treatment, Morgan is taking on her illness with the same determined mindset that she’s had in her struggle for equal rights.
‘I don’t’ believe that,’ she says of her diagnosis. ‘I want to continue to stand up for equality. I’m a fighter.’