Christina Goddard-Graves

Ohio Historical Society
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00:00:00 - Introduction and joining the Air Force

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Segment Synopsis: Goddard-Graves's father was in the Army and when he retired when she was four years old they moved to Germany, where she grew up. They decided to return to the states and settled in Washington because it reminded them most of Germany. Goddard-Graves attended college for criminal justice at the University of Washington. She decided that she wanted to pursue a career in the military and chose the Air Force, partially because her father made her promise not to join the Army. She enlisted in the Air Force in 1999 at the age of 21. She talks about her initial experiences and why she enjoyed the work. She also describes how a question about her sexuality during her enlistment made her feel uncomfortable.

Keywords: B-2 bomber; Criminal justice; Germany; Louisville (Ky.); Recruiting and enlistment; U-2 (Reconnaissance aircraft); United States. Air Force.; University of Washington

Subjects: Childhood; Enlistment; Military heritage

GPS: University of Washington
Map Coordinates: 47.6155248,-122.3657382
00:14:39 - Coming out and working in Saudi Arabia

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Segment Synopsis: Goddard-Graves met a group of LGBT individuals while at Beale AFB and found herself drawn to them, but things didn't really start to fall into place until she me someone in Saudi Arabia and fell in love. While in Saudi Arabia she came out to her family in a letter, giving them time to process the information before she came home. She talks about how the group of LGBT individuals would meet in secret in one airmen's room, which was an introduction to how careful she would need to be. She also discusses living on the Prince Sultan Airbase, being on the bombs squad, dangerous situations, and working with third country nationals.

Keywords: Beale Air Force Base (Calif.); Bomb squads; Gay military personnel--United States; Prince Sultan Air Base (Saudi Arabia); United States. Air Force. Security Service

Subjects: Coming out; Keeping secrets; Third country nationals; Working in the bomb squad

GPS: Prince Sultan Air Base (Saudi Arabia)
Map Coordinates: 24.0627894,47.5618523
00:35:10 - Met Someone and Fell in Love

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Segment Synopsis: Goddard-Graves met someone who worked a different job in the military fairly soon after her arrival in Saudi Arabia and connected instantly.She felt conflicted about being in love and not being able to tell people about it. Her girlfriend was married to another airman in order to disguise being gay. Goddard-Graves also had a friend who helped her explained where she was when she was spending time with her LGBT friends. She understood that the relationship was short-term because she was only going to be in country four months but she still longed for more time to enjoy the relationship and probess everything. She talks about how her life finally came together and the excitement of the intrigue.

Keywords: Gay military personnel--United States; Prince Sultan Air Base (Saudi Arabia); United States. Air Force. Security Service

Subjects: New relationships

GPS: Prince Sultan Air Base (Saudi Arabia)
Map Coordinates: 24.0627894,47.5618523
00:59:47 - Return to Beale AFB

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Segment Synopsis: Goddard-Graves felt coming back to the states was like coming back to a new, scary world. After joining the military straight and returning to Beale AFB gay, she had no one to turn to. She felt it was very lonely, but was able to reconnect with her family and find out they were very supportive of her.
She decided to go to an LGBT club in Sacramento alone, and since she couldn't ask anywhere she new, she stopped at a gas station and asked an individual she thought might be gay. There she meets a woman, starts a new relationship, and takes the big step of revealing she is in the military.

Keywords: Beale Air Force Base (Calif.)

Subjects: Dating; SERE; Survival, Evasion, Resistance And Escape

GPS: Beale Air Force Base (Calif.)
Map Coordinates: 39.1086142,-121.3916709
01:17:11 - Sergeant Starts Asking Questions

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Segment Synopsis: A Sergeant on the Security Force starts asking questions about Goddard-Graves's off-base activities and was rumored to have pictures of her, which scared her. She was nominated for recognition, and she recalls hearing about a conversation in which this Sergeant questioned how she would get a commendation so early in her career. This started a line of questioning into her personal life that began to scare her, and she started to examine what would happen and how she might be reprimanded for being LGBT in the Armed Forces. She decides to make the hard choice to out herself and seek an honorable discharge rather than be caught and risk a dishonorable discharge. She writes a letter to her first sergeant, but he says they can just tear it up, but she decides to continue because he can't protect her if she is outed. Goddard-Graves discusses this hard decision, the admission on her discharge papers, and her personal life immediately after. She returns to college but because she was discharged short of two years she doesn't get the GI Bill.

Keywords: Military discharge; Nevada; Pierce College (Wash.); United States. Montgomery G.I. Bill

Subjects: Coming out; Honorable Discharge; Investigation

GPS: Pierce College (Wash.)
Map Coordinates: 47.1570253,-122.2732815
01:50:31 - After the military

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Segment Synopsis: Goddard-Graves moves with her girlfriend to Nevada but ultimately they break up, partially from the strain leaving the military put on their relationship. She returns to her parents in Washington and goes back to school. Her parents decide to move back to Tennessee, where her dad is from, and she goes with them. She goes back to college at Austin Peay State University for a degree in psychology. Here she meets her partner and they decide to move to Owensboro, Kentucky. They came to Columbus looking for diversity and ended staying because of all the great people they've met. Goddard-Graves talks about her life after the military and how it lead her to Columbus, meeting her partner, and how she feels about her experiences in the Air Force now.

Keywords: Austin Peay State University; Clarksville (Tenn.); Columbus (Ohio); Owensboro (Ky.); Psychology

Subjects: Back to school; Looking back; Meeting her partner; Moving

GPS: Austin Peay State University
Map Coordinates: 36.53498,-87.3548855