What would you do if your boss told you to fire someone because they were gay?
That’s what Col. Pat Thompson was told to do: preside over the dismissal of Col. Grethe Cammermeyer for being a lesbian. If her name sounds familiar you may have encountered her story in “Serving In Silence”. The movie was executive-produced by Barbra Streisand and starred Glenn Close. Thompson faced an impossible choice: she could come out, then two of them would be discharged. Or, she could fulfill her duty in a way that allowed Col. Cammermeyer the best possible defense, even though it might raise suspicion about her own status.
Through “Surviving the Silence: Love and Impossible Choices” – a film-in-production by Atlanta-based, LGBT community leader Cindy L. Abel – Col. Pat Thompson’s story, hidden until now, will be widely told for the first time. In it, Col. Cammermeyer reveals why she considers her a courageous hero, crediting her for contributing to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Col. Thompson and her wife of 30 years share how they created a home – with a secret passageway between bedrooms in case of overnight guests to whom they weren’t out – and stayed connected using a secret code during tours at the Pentagon or in Panama where phone calls could be tapped.
This heart-wrenching yet empowering film is raising funds on Kickstarter and donations of all sizes are needed and appreciated. For $10, your name will be in the film credits. For $25, you’ll also receive a personal thank-you note from Col. Thompson and Barbara Brass. The more you donate, the bigger the perks. Check out the clip below and decide how you can help share our history and the triumph of love over any obstacle.