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USNA Alumni Asking & Telling

Posted by Average Gay Joe at 9:24 pm - December 22, 2008.
Filed under: Gays In Military,Military,Movies/Film & TV

A very interesting interview I came across yesterday with Captain Steve Hall (USN – ret.), a gay veteran and former nuclear submarine commander. Hall is involved with USNA Out, a group for LGBT Naval Academy alumni. He is also the driving force behind a new documentary film, currently scheduled to premier in Summer 2009, about LGBT Naval Academy alumni and the DADT policy banning gays from openly serving in the military. This film should do much to highlight the service of these vets and I’m very encouraged by what he said about this project in this recent interview:

“When I was a midshipman, there were no gay or lesbian role models,” he said. “All we ever heard was when someone was kicked out.”

He hopes the film will help people see that gay service members exist and have achieved great things, and that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy – which requires gays in the military to hide their sexual identities or risk expulsion – is a “folly.”

“This is another way to tell our story and unveil the masks of who we are. We need to educate our fellow alumni and anyone who will pay attention,” said Jeff Petrie, the founder of the gay alumni group USNA Out, who has agreed to be interviewed for the film. “When I look back at how other minorities were treated in military history and how far we’ve come with how those people are now part of an integrated team, I know the same will be true for us one day. And I want to take advantage of every opportunity I can to move that along.” […]

While some alumni – particularly those who were kicked out – are bitter about what happened to them, that will not be the focus of the film, Hall said.

“I’m going to do everything I can to make sure the alumni look great. We’re all products of the academy, and the academy does a really good job of developing people’s character,” he said. “I don’t want to show dirty laundry.” (Baltimore Sun)

Now this sounds like a film that is respectful of the service and one I definitely won’t miss.

— John (Average Gay Joe)

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6 Comments

  1. Just a thought. You mention DADT and then the GLBT community…I am thinking of the T part of that sexual Yugoslavia we are all supposed to swear fealty to.

    If I were a part of the military with a hesitation about allowing gays and lesbians to serve but some good experience with under-the-radar gay or lesbian soldiers, yet saw the history of how relentless the “GLBT” groups are (Prop H8te, etc) , I would wonder if the next group I’d be asked to serve with would be transgenders…and that might make me hesitate a whole lot more.

    In a single generation it has gone from “We Just Want To Be Left Alone” to “If You Don’t Mandate Gay Marriage You Are A Nazi”. Suppose a FTM soldier wanted to have a pregnancy leave? One could be forgiven for thinking that maybe GLBT should be changed to PWANS…People Who Are Never Satisfied.

    I would really really like for homosexual men and women to be able to serve in the armed forces without fear of expulsion for sexual orientation…it makes more sense to me than gay marriage does…but with the morass of PC identity dogma involved in the whole LGBT etc. thing…it’s no wonder that some people look on “the community” with increasing skepticism.

    Comment by EssEm — December 22, 2008 @ 12:03 pm - December 22, 2008

  2. My sister has a female friend who graduated from the Air Force Academy. She made it through the academy and served her country for a number of years. Today she is living with her partner, making a living and paying her taxes. I don’t know her. But, I pray that she is a member of some service academy alumni group that just tells their individual stories of serving in their country in forced silence about their sexuality.

    Comment by Swampfox — December 22, 2008 @ 10:29 pm - December 22, 2008

  3. Unless I’m misinformed, or the polls were jury rigged (which is possible), a majority of Americans now support allowing gays to serve openly.

    Comment by American Elephant — December 22, 2008 @ 11:45 pm - December 22, 2008

  4. You mention DADT and then the GLBT community…I am thinking of the T part of that sexual Yugoslavia we are all supposed to swear fealty to.

    Good point. I usually say “gay” or “gays & lesbians” but occasionally get sloppy and use LGBT, which I really shouldn’t do given my previous post on this subject. In this particular instance, I used what was at the USNA Out website.

    Transgender folks bring issues of gender identity that IMO would impact unit cohesion, the raison d’être behind DADT. As for transsexuals, they would bring the same problems but added to this are legit medical questions given their hormonal treatments. So no, I am not including transgender/transsexual folks in seeking a repeal for DADT. They need to explain their own case and answer the reasonable concerns raised for their unique circumstances. I’m not capable of doing that for them.

    Comment by John — December 23, 2008 @ 11:08 am - December 23, 2008

  5. Unless I’m misinformed, or the polls were jury rigged (which is possible), a majority of Americans now support allowing gays to serve openly.

    You aren’t misinformed. The problem in getting this repealed is two-fold:

    1. Democrats are cowards and will proceed very slowly on this.

    2. The Religious Right are adamantly opposed to this and will scream like stuck pigs if repeal looks like it will move forward, which only reinforces #1.

    Comment by Average Gay Joe — December 23, 2008 @ 11:16 am - December 23, 2008

  6. I served in the military from 1942 until 1946. During that time there were no homosexuals kicked out of the Service that I know of. Here is a quote from my book which may explain it.

    “During the 90s the airwaves and tbe newspapers were full of the military and homosexual conflict. The President signed a ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ bill. Afterwards it was reported that 200 to 300 military personal were being discharged a year account of homosexuality. Due to the remark that the psychologist put on my record at induction, I would not now be accepted into any branch of Service. I asked my WWII GI friends if they had gays in their units and if any got kicked out. The unanimous answer was, “I am sure there were some but we were more intent on winning the war and going home than we were on hunting out homosexuals”.

    “Everyone wanted to win WWII, the news media, college professors, and especially the VIP in Washington. The VIP knew that if we lost, that it would be their ass instead of the Germans sitting on the docks at Nuremberg. So the gays were left alone to fight along the side of the other young men. But that changed as soon as the war was over.” Unquote.

    Comment by John W — December 23, 2008 @ 1:48 pm - December 23, 2008

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