Acta Cogitata: An Undergraduate Journal in Philosophy


As an institution, the U.S. Military allows a certain strain of heteronormative masculinity to flourish, subsequently pushing to the margins individuals who do not fit such a standard. In this paper, I use this phenomenon as the basis for an exploration of the different forms of insecurity experienced by LGBTQ+ persons within the military, a project that necessarily includes viewing security as a holistic issue, rather than just as one which affects a person’s immediate physical safety. I engage in a project of seeking out a linguistic framework through which to deconstruct LGBTQ+ insecurity within the military that is both all-encompassing of the community’s needs, and is politically expedient, thereby providing channels for future activism and policy change. First, I explain and critique two common frameworks – rights and national security – pointing out both the benefits and the potential inadequacies of each. I then explore a third linguistic framework, one which focuses on citizenship, as I believe that it has the most potential both for recognizing the full scope of LGBTQ+ insecurities within the military and facilitating political progress. I explain the necessity of a fluid definition of citizenship, and use this to make brief suggestions for theorists engaging in deconstructive projects in the future.

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