tereseus1 said ... as you pointed out that at some point during the draft, you were basically medically diagnosed as defective. So it suggest that the medical world, saw homosexuality as a defect, somewhat a disease to be diagnosed and treated. And because of this you were spared from that war that lasted awfully long. So maybe it was a gift then that you were gay as who knows you might have been a victim of war. But this also opens the door for another discussion. How many straight men do you think actually played gay so that they would not be drafted for war? And why was that placed on your employment record? Is it the same now? Like is that on my medical record, in case i start looking for a job in the Legal world? Because i think thats awfully personal and somewhat seems like they are placing you in a separate group than straight people.
The other thing you mentioned was the fact that you were in a somewhat polyamory relationship. Was that due to the idea of "free love"? Or was that the norm? The other thing that was key that you said was the fact that you were involved with someone which you apply to being alive today. As i know patient zero Gaetan Dugas who was one of the first carrier of hiv (original carrier) was one of the first who was diagnosed with the disease. And it was around 1974 to 84 that the rise in hiv occurred. So its safe to say that if you weren't involved with a woman in a monogamous relationship..then you might have been caught up in the aids epidemic of the late 70s early 80s. Its fascinating how social norms affect us and navigate us through life.
Yes, "homosexuality" was regarded as a mental disorder, a sexual perversion. Although attitudes were beginning to change among some within the psychiatric field during the 60s, it was 1973 before the American Psychiatric Association dropped "homosexuality" as a term from its diagnostic handbook. I was VERY relieved to hear this, btw. Suddenly, I was no longer considered "mentally ill" by professionals around me. Imagine that!
As for Selective Service Classifications, yeah, see this page
. The specific 4F classification was a physical, mental and MORAL code: "Registrant not acceptable for military service. To be eligible for Class 4-F, a registrant must have been found not qualified for service in the Armed Forces by a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) under the established physical, mental, or moral standards."
And yes, you had to carry your Draft Card with you. Prospective employers wanted to see this card. Ostensibly to see whether or not you might get called up for the draft. But they also had the right to QUESTION you about a deferment such as this. "Why 4F?" Well, you either lied or told the truth.
Not sure how many straight men would try to use this classification to evade service, especially at that time because there was quite a stigma attached to it. I suspect as the anti-war fervor of this country increased, especially among young, eligible men who wanted nothing to do with the war, yeah, that happened. BUT, that is precisely why I couldn't just 'check a little box' and answer some threatening questions and be believed. I *had* to have a written diagnosis from a licensed professional mailed directly to the proper authorities.
As for the Manage... Yes, I'd say 'free love' had a lot to do with it. The guy was in my class at college and we met in the dorm. He had never been sexual with anyone before me. As should be obvious, I wasn't exactly a sex hound but I had more experience than he did. Not quite sure how the whole subject came up but I'd already started meeting gay guys so it wouldn't have been too strange for this to come up in conversation. He was only 17 when we met so we were both horny teenagers. Nothing too strange about us 'hooking up'.
What was a bit stranger by today's standards, perhaps, is that we were friends to start with and remain friends to this day. He's still married to the same woman. They have two grown children, and their son is also gay. The 'Manage' was a bit strange but it worked for a couple years, even after they were married. This guy I'm talking about *was* a 'hunter' and the wife and I would often sit home alone watching TV and complaining about HIM catting around! LoL. It's a wonder he didn't get infected w/ HIV and I suspect the primary reason he didn't is he was a total top. We all parted on good terms. They moved to the South West and I moved to California.
Beyond that, yes, had I not been in a monogamous het relationship, I very likely would have been + very early on.
The first guy I knew with AIDS was a nephew six years younger than myself. He was very sexually active and a tweaker. He had been out here to visit me and my lady in 1981 (clubs, bathhouses) . But he'd also been to NY, Chicago and Atlanta, so difficult to say where or when exactly he got infected. Nevertheless, he was dead by May of 1985 after suffering horrendously. Anyone who hasn't witnessed it first hand can not, and doesn't want to, imagine it.
You might be interested in knowing that prior to this he was not out to his family (my sister and brother in law). When he became hospitalized they went through everything in his apartment and very quickly discovered his sexual orientation. My whole family is NUTS but my sister and her husband were born again Christians. SO... while my nephew lay dying in his hospital bed, they regularly performed exorcisms on him attempting to expel the "demon of homosexuality."
I kid you not. And people wonder why I refuse to speak with my sister to this day or why I cheered when her husband finally DIED. He was a mean, nasty son of a bitch. The only human I've ever truly hated and will continue to hate beyond the grave.
Yes we are still struggling inside a homophobic culture and struggling under ALL the problems that we internalize due to that -- but, still, it is far better now than it used to be.
You young folk have a responsibility: Don't EVER let the religious bigots have their way politically. Ever. If you do, you and those who come after you will suffer unbelievably. We have separation of church and state for a reason. They ARE a minority and should never have the right to enforce their beliefs on the rest of society.