Since this blog was written, the egregious “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law has been repealed and, as I fully knew would be the case, it sank beneath the surface without a ripple. But it should never be forgotten that at one time, gays and lesbians were not allowed to serve their country openly.
Were you aware that there is only one employer in the entire United States of America which is free to fire its employees on the basis of sexual orientation? Care to guess which one? Why, the United States Military, of course—an arm of the U.S. government. By refusing to comply with the very laws it has mandated for everyone else, it thereby sets itself as being above the law (hardly a first-time event, but disgraceful nonetheless).
Since the inception of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rule, well over 12,000 American servicemen and women who volunteered to serve their country have been kicked out of the military simply for being gay or lesbian. Enlisted men and women, officers, highly trained specialists, badly needed linguists/interpreters, holders of medals. No matter. They’re gay, they’re out. This at a time when the military is stretched dangerously thin, and they are lowering their recruiting standards. Well, of course, allowing convicted felons to enlist is far better than keeping a college graduate who has never had so much as a parking ticket, but is a faggot, and therefore a serious danger to the “cohesion”—whatever that is supposed to mean—of the unit.
Is the average heterosexual American soldier, sailor, or marine such a delicate emotional blossom, or so insecure in their own sexuality, that they would feel “threatened” by serving beside someone who was openly gay?
The United States is one of the last major countries in which homosexuals are not free to serve openly in the military. Why? Israel, Canada, Norway, England...are our moral standards so much higher than theirs? Or are we afraid our service men and women are too frail to survive sleeping in the same compartment as a homosexual?
The bitter irony here—one of many, actually—is that there are already tens of thousands of gays and lesbians in the military who chose to serve their country despite the knowledge that they can be kicked out any time they dare to reveal their sexual orientation.
I was one of those who served in silence, and who lived with the sword constantly hanging over my head. I witnessed first hand what happened to anyone who was discovered to be gay aboard an American warship. (I’ve told the story often before, but a guy I knew, a nice, innocent, naive kid, was called into the personnel office. “We arrested a man in Norfolk who said he had sexual relations with you. Now, we don’t want to do anything against you, but if you’ll sign this paper to verify you had sex with him, we can prosecute him.” The poor kid signed the paper and was flown off the aircraft carrier in the middle of the night. Flown off an aircraft carrier in the middle of the night lest he contaminate his fellow crewmen! My mind still reels to think of it.)
That the moral standards of my fellow (but heterosexual) sailors were infinitely higher and more refined than my own, and that they were therefore far more worthy human beings than I was evinced every time we went ashore. Apparently one can get a far better education in bars and brothels than in a museum. Museums are for faggots: bring on the girls!! One of my shipmates contracted gonorrhea no fewer than seven times in the course of our eight-month cruise. He was held in high regard by everyone for being a “real man.”
It appears that finally, finally the days of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” may be coming to an end, and one more outrageously discriminatory ruling will be overturned. And of its repeal, I guarantee you that everyone will not give it a single thought other to wonder what the hell all the fuss had been about in the first place.
This blog is from Dorien's ebook of blogs, Short Circuits, available from UntreedReads.com and Amazon.com; it's also available as an audio book from Amazon/Audible.com. You can find information about Dorien's books at his web site: www.doriengrey.com: