I am of the opinion that we will never be able to have gays openly serving in the military until we first figure out how to have women integrated effectively into the service.
There is still way too much bonding and 'cohesion' that centers around male heterosexual rituals and language which even when it excludes and degrades women in uniform continues. Until we figure out how to fix that, I don't see how we can integrate gays openly.
having said that, so long as they stayed 'under the radar', I knew quite a few gay service members while I was in and particularly in the Navy linguist community, it really wasn't an issue..............unless you specifically went to someone in your chain of command (or someone went and 'outed' a servicemember to the COC) and told them, nobody really cared. One guy I went to language school was simply told to 'butch it up' a bit before he sashed on to the stage to recieve his award for graduating top of his class. It's probaby more of an issue for the Army and the Marine.
It's a stupid stupid policy.