Dan Choi Explains 'Why I Cannot Stay Quiet'

Staying in the closet, he added, "traumatizes people in a way ... Number one, I'm taught the honor code at West Point: do not lie. Units are based on honor code. But 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' says you have to lie. It forces people to lie, to hide. Hiding and lying aren't army values."

As one of the founding members of Knights Out, a new organization that supports West Point grads who are gay, Choi said he receives hundreds of e-mails every day from people looking for support, or simply thanking him.

"People are saying, 'I'm in Iraq right now and I got kicked out' or 'I'm in Afghanistan' or 'I'm at West Point right now and keep going because we need to know there are other people out there,'" Choi said. "One said he wanted to commit suicide, but 'Now I know there is someone else.' That's the main reason why I cannot stay quiet."

Knights Out Chair: 'I Was Investigated'

Knights Out formed on March 16 and now has 97 members, 59 of whom are out. Choi is the only member on active duty.

"We think this is a really urgent issue, for national security reasons. We cannot afford to lose one more Arabic linguist like we did with Dan Choi," said Becky Kanis, a 1991 West Point grad and chairwoman of the Knights Out Board. "His board hasn't met yet. It's not too late for him."

It may be more than a month before Choi's Show Cause for Retention Board meets to deliberate his fate. Until then, Choi continues to train with his unit.

Kanis said Choi's unit "shook his hand and said we support you, we're behind you" after he came out on TV.

"How many more people like that are we going to lose in the name of maintaining these old-fashioned prejudices?" she asked.

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell

"Don't Ask Don't Tell" was introduced under the Clinton administration in 1993. The policy allows gay military personnel to serve, but says that they aren't to disclose their sexuality or engage in homosexual acts. Under the policy, saying you are gay counts as homosexual conduct.

Since then, according to the most recent numbers released by the Pentagon, 12,500 service members have been dismissed because of their sexuality.

"We have to ask why are people coming out? What is it about this policy that makes it tough for people to serve?" said Nathaniel Frank, senior research fellow at the Palm Center think tank in Santa Barbara, Calif. that examines public policy related to gender, sexuality, and the military.

Frank, the author "Unfriendly Fire," acknowleged that the number of gay men and women dismissed for their sexual orientation is a small number in comparison to the total number of people dismissed from the military. However, he says the quality of the people being dismissed under DADT is troubling.

Kanis, for example, left a sought-after job commanding a special operations unit because she wanted to live openly in a same-sex relationship.

"I was investigated when I was a cadet for my sexual orientation. In fact, I denied being a lesbian and carried the guilt over lying for many years," she told ABC News.

"I was in the thick of things, I had a really good job actually. It was very hard to make the decision to go, but once I made that decision there was no looking back," she said.

Kanis is now working for Common Ground, a non-profit focused on trying to prevent homelessness.

Will Don't Ask Don't Tell Be Overturned?

On Sunday the president's National Security Advisor General Jim Jones spoke about DADT on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

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