There are few people on Earth that people from all walks of life would collectively consider a “total badass.”
Much like a question on Family Feud, the top answer would be debated across popular football players and MMA fighters. Others, may wax nostalgic like Mike Tyson or Bruce Lee. Some may go the way of pop culture and argue for someone in “Game of Thrones” because they don’t get out much. And then, the real answers show up around numbers 5 through 7.
One of them will unquestionably be “a U.S. Marine,” “Special Forces,” “Green Berets,” or my personal fave, a U.S. Navy SEAL. No debate. No reservation. Just a simple “yup” does the trick, thank you kindly.
So, what if I told you there is a SEAL…who is openly gay? Did you just bump into a glass wall throwing papers up in the air because yeah, that happened.
His story is that he was “outed” while serving when a voicemail to his boyfriend, who was also a member of the United States military, leaked. The resulting backlash was astounding, including a massive, three-month investigation into Jones’ personal life. Why? Because he fights, protects, serves and … loves a man.
Stay discriminatory, Uncle Sam.
“I’ve known that I’ve been gay since I was probably about six years old. I knew going in[to the Navy] that I was going to have to do a lot of lying. Under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ — it goes a little beyond that. The SEAL community is a tight-knit one and you know everything about everyone there. I knew I was going to have to lie about who I was.”
The dude does more for this country before breakfast than many of us will do in our lifetimes. He has defended the USA on an elite level. Yet, because he kisses a guy, he’s not a patriot? He’s not a hero? He’s not a badass?! Still think he’s not tough? Dare to tell him that? Thought so.
Conversation over. Mission accomplished. Check. And mate.
(If you’re interested, here is the full interview with the underrated Marc Lamont Hill)