ABC News’ Elizabeth Kreutz reports:
Just hours before the official end of “ Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the policy prohibiting gays from serving openly in the military, a U.S. solider decided to come out in perhaps one of the most open ways imaginable: YouTube.
In the video he posted Monday, 21-year old, Randy Phillips, under his handle “AreYouSurprised,” calls his father to tell him — as the video description says — “the hardest thing that gay guys will ever have to say.”
“You promise you’ll always love me? Period?” he asks his father, his voice shaking.
He takes a beat, and then says it: “Dad, I’m gay. I always have been. I’ve known for … forever.”
But this video is not his first. The “faceless soldier,” currently serving in the Air Force in Germany, has been garnering Internet fame since April, when he first began chronicling his experiences coming out, while serving abroad.
Six months ago he wouldn’t even reveal his face. But with last night’s midnight appeal of DADT, he’s slowly revealing much more. And using the power of the Internet as his guiding tool.
If there’s one thing he hasn’t been secretive about though, it’s his mission online, openly describing himself on Twitter as a “military member in the closet, using social media to build up the courage to come out to family, girlfriend, friends, and coworkers.”
“I am tired of hiding this,” he says.
And while he no longer has to, his story — and courage — has already touched thousands along the way. And as of 2 p.m. today, his video already had more than 3,000 likes and 30,000 views. And counting.