“Out of Annapolis” Study

Download the "Out of Annapolis" Study fact sheet: http://outofannapolis.com/sites/outofannapolis.com/files/OOA Fact Sheet 100218.pdf

The “Out of Annapolis” Project
FACT SHEET - 2/18/2010

The “Out of Annapolis” project began in summer 2008, an undertaking by USNA Out, the affinity group for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) alumni of the U.S. Naval Academy. The project includes both a documentary film and a supporting study of the gay & lesbian alumni of the academy.

“Out of Annapolis” chronicles the experiences of dozens of LGBT alumni – from diverse eras, backgrounds, ethnicities, genders and warfare specialties – all through interviews, live footage, photos, and supporting facts and figures. The film aims to educate by providing a factual and representative account of the Naval Academy and military experiences of LGBT alumni, both before and post-“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The film is completing post-production and will be available for distribution in spring 2010.

The “Out of Annapolis” Study provided an in-depth look at who the LGBT alumni ar as a group. This summary represents considerations from 149 alumni to date.

Only 12% of the alumni identified as a sexual minority (i.e., had “come out” to themselves in high school or earlier) at the time the alumni initially entered the military. The vast majority did not understand/correlate their friendships/relationships with others in a sexual context. About 18% were completely and totally unaware of the unexpected possibilities ahead for them in their future.

23% of the alumni sexually “re-identified” as lesbian or gay while a midshipman at Annapolis, 38% as a junior officers in the fleet/FMF, the remaining 27% did not “come out” until the end of their initial obligation or as senior officers.

21% of the alumni in classes prior to 2002 got married to heterosexual partners, which they subsequently ended when they realized it as a mistake.

67% of those who identified as gay/lesbian while on active duty have been engaged in long term relationships with same-sex partners while serving on active duty.

72% of those who identified as gay/lesbian while on active duty have been “out” to select friends in the military, including 29% who are "out" to some members within their same command.

26% of those who identified as LGBT while a midshipman were "out" to their Bancroft Hall roommates.

96% of those who did "come out" to other service members felt that their peers opinions of LGBT officers were positively influenced by the actually knowing someone who was gay/lesbian.

55% felt that their personal professional performance was negatively impacted by the policies in effect at the time of their service, 17% felt the impact on their performance was severely impacted.

33% felt that by holding back their identity, that they we unable to fully integrate themselves into their units as well as their peers.

Of those who have voluntarily resigned their commissions, 46% stated the specific reason they left the service was the policies in effect.  They felt that had the policies not existed, they would have remained on as career officers in the naval service. It was a key factor for an additional 22% of resignations.

18% felt that at some time in their career, their sexual minority status was used against them as negative leverage from a peer, subordinate or superior.

This preliminary report is based upon 305 study subjects to date. Statistics are in continuous refinement as more subjects are included, but no significant variance is expected for current sample size. The study is expected to complete by mid April 2010. It is predicted that the true number of LGBT alumni is significantly higher than those currently participating based on sample variances between year groups indicative of communications among participants in different graduation classes.
The nature of the “Donʼt Ask, Donʼt Tell” policy denies feasibility to study a representative sample of the entire group. Participation has been voluntary, by word of mouth. This study cannot be considered “scientific,” although its findings are based on a set of standardized questions, all of which were submitted by voluntary, LGBT-identified participants.
Because of the confidentiality regarding the survey participants and responses, specific participant data cannot be released.