Homosexuals in the Military

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 23, 2007 12:28 AM GMT
    My brother just graduated basic training last week in the U.S. Army. When I went up to see him graduate and all, I was thinking "Maybe I should join the military!". This wasn't just a spur of the moment thing either, because I've thinking about it for a few years.

    The only problem is that gays aren't technically allowed in the military, it's that whole "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" thing. This is a very big problem for me seeing as I've spent my whole life becoming comfortable and open about who I am, and I kind of feel like it may be a step backwards, you know?

    Plus, I don't know if I could handle not being open about my sexuality for the next five years - or longer!

    What do you guys think about it?
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Oct 23, 2007 12:41 AM GMT
    I have respect for people that choose to serve in the military, but I honestly don't know how anyone can actually do it.
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Oct 23, 2007 12:45 AM GMT
    Hey there,

    There is a previous thread on this topic if you're interested.

    Dont Ask Dont Tell
    http://www.realjock.com/topic/46310/
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    Oct 23, 2007 12:48 AM GMT
    The military has many gay soldiers. It all depends on where you server and the unit that you are in. Some units are full of idiots and some have cool people that do not really care. But you have to be careful either way. Because if the wrong people find out then you could face harassment or worse. But if you are cool and keep it to yourself then I do not think you should have a problem. But things have changed since I go out in 2002.

    what is the MOS you are gonna choose?
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    Oct 23, 2007 12:52 AM GMT
    I scored 83 on my ASVAB, and my particular area of interest is in linguistics. So I'm pretty sure I'd be going in as an O9 Lima, or atleast thats what my brother called it, but in other words a Linguist... probably for arabic.
  • Salubrious

    Posts: 420

    Oct 23, 2007 1:23 AM GMT
    Interestingly enough, they recently (perhaps a few months ago) discharged a bunch of Arabic experts for being gay.
  • HillcrestPuma

    Posts: 5

    Oct 23, 2007 2:29 AM GMT
    "It may be a step backwards"? Yes, it is a step backwards. Deciding to go back in the closet for the military is a giant upheaval for anyone who has truly already been living their life out of the closet. Everybody you know from your current work life, school life, social life and family life would need to adjust to a new you who has had his sexual orientation erased. They would come to know you as someone who denied who he truly was in order to participate in a system that has no respect for the person you really are. After you join up, everyone you meet from that point on will only know this new, false you.

    Perhaps most folks will prefer to see this situation in terms of the noble sacrifice you are considering. Yes, you are considering giving up so much of yourself in order to serve your country, in order to serve our society, in order to serve alongside those brave men and women already in uniform. You are considering a giant sacrifice for something larger than yourself, this is noble.

    And what if you become a casualty? How would our military recognize the great service you have done for our larger good? Any same sex partner you might one day have will get nothing, no benefits, no recognition ... the military will even go beyond that and insult him ("I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral, and that we should not condone immoral acts." -General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff).

    Sure the military will be glad to take you as long as you keep your mouth shut, as long as everybody close to you keeps their mouths shut, and as long as no accidental slip ups that would indicate you are gay happen. And if the truth about you ever does come out, the military throws you out on your ass. They won't feel they owe you anything. There have even been instances of the military trying to collect money from gay people they've kicked out as repayment for the military schooling they went through. This is the way a deceitful and cowardly organization behaves, not a noble one that is worthy of anybody's great sacrifice. Join the deceit if you like.
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    Oct 23, 2007 2:44 AM GMT
    inshallah
  • swimr

    Posts: 19

    Oct 23, 2007 3:12 AM GMT
    There are definitely gays in the military serving our country with honor. There always have been, there always will be, there's no question about that. But they have to hide a part of who they are. Think very carefully before you decide if you want to go into the military and risk how it could impact your life if your sexuality is discovered. If someone "outs" you, it can have serious implications. "Don't ask don't tell" does not serve our country well, and military justice does not work like civilian justice. If someone makes an accusation questioning your sexuality, not telling won't be good enough - rather than innocent until proven guilty, you'll literally need to prove your innocence to be allowed to continue your military career. You may want to consider a different way to serve your nation where your sexuality won't be an issue that could send you to prison, cause your comrades to turn against you, or expose you to a lot of humiliation. What you want to do is an honorable thing, but you can't be naive about what could happen.
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    Oct 23, 2007 3:24 AM GMT
    Sometimes you have to be silent for your own protection.

    Would you flaunt your gayness if you were stranded in a bad section of a city on foot?

    Perhaps it's just me but when I introduce myself I don't say "Hi, I'm Ryan and I'm GAY!!!"

    What's so hard about not eyeing guys up or acting gay in public view for 5 years?
  • Salubrious

    Posts: 420

    Oct 23, 2007 3:25 AM GMT
    What's wrong with denying a (probably important) part of yourself in public (or during any of your active duty) for 5 years? Are you really asking that question?
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    Oct 23, 2007 3:30 AM GMT
    What's wrong with denying a (probably important) part of yourself in public (or during any of your active duty) for 5 years? Are you really asking that question?

    If you want to stand in the wind learn to bend with it. If you demand to stand tall you'll just snap and fall.

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    Oct 23, 2007 3:36 AM GMT
    And don't leave out the fact that there have been instances of backwards comrades flipping out at the thought of someone in their unit being gay.
    Remember: Barry Winchell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Winchell , Allen Schindler [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allen_R._Schindler,_Jr.[/url], and we're still waiting to find out exactly how lesbian Massachusetts Army National Guard Specialist Ciara Durkin was killed by a gunshot wound to the head on base in Afghanistan.
  • Salubrious

    Posts: 420

    Oct 23, 2007 4:05 AM GMT
    If you want to stand in the wind learn to bend with it. If you demand to stand tall you'll just snap and fall.

    What? How is that comparison apt?
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    Oct 23, 2007 4:21 AM GMT
    Trance23 wrote: "If you want to stand in the wind learn to bend with it. If you demand to stand tall you'll just snap and fall."

    Actually the quote and story are from a fable attributed to Aesop, "the tree and the reed" :

    Well, little one," said a Tree to a Reed that was growing at its foot, "why do you not plant your feet deeply in the ground, and raise your head boldly in the air as I do?"

    "I am contented with my lot," said the Reed. "I may not be so grand, but I think I am safer."

    "Safe!" sneered the Tree. "Who shall pluck me up by the roots or bow my head to the ground?" But it soon had to repent of its boasting, for a hurricane arose which tore it up from its roots, and cast it a useless log on the ground, while the little Reed, bending to the force of the wind, soon stood upright again when the storm had passed over.

    Obscurity often brings safety.
    - Text taken from Aesop's Fables at Read Books Online

    The question is whether or not you are willing to accept total obscurity. Each person has to define for themselves what they can accept and live with.

    I left the Army after 12 years because I was no longer willing to totally subordinate my life to those demands.

    I wanted to be able to go out in public to a restaurant for a meal with my partner.

    I wanted to be able to take my partner to a Christmas party.

    I wanted to be able to live in the same house with my partner, rather than in the dorm like bachelors quarters.

    I wanted my partner to be able to call me or email me without fear of discovery and dismissal.

    There were a thousand reasons for me leaving a career that I loved and was good at.

    At the end though it was a matter of my own self respect. I was no longer willing to lie, evade, hide, or disemble every single day. I needed to move on and actually live a life I had put on hold for too long.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 23, 2007 5:06 AM GMT
    Mcgine - I think I'd like to hear about what other options besides joining the military you are considering?

    You can study arabic in college and get a job working with a government contractor assisting the military - or be hired into the government to do middle-east work. You probably wouldn't get a rifle or the espirit de corps from being in the military - but you also wouldn't have to worry about being a reed.

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    Oct 23, 2007 5:26 AM GMT
    I'm more concerned with cuttin my hair off and killing people as well as witnessing innocent civilians dying.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 23, 2007 6:24 AM GMT
    Gays are too precious to send to war!


    'Gays Too Precious To Risk In Combat,' Says General
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    Oct 23, 2007 8:04 AM GMT
    I actually just got back couple of weeks ago from training. i'm In the Navy. yeah it felt like a step backward at times. At first I thought i had toact all straiht and shit but then I realized that i don't have to be a gay guy in the military, I'll just be myself. I'm not one to go around sayi " Hey, i'm Andy. i suck cock" but i'm not againsttellin someone when they ask if I think theycan handle it. I made some good friend in boot and at A school and some know, some don't. Just like in my Civilian life. I don't really worry about it because I know eventually that Its gonna get out and there may be some shitty times but i'm cool with it because I know that If it does come to me getting kicked out, 2 things'll happen. i'll have the skills in a tade and have a job to work toward and 2 thre is gonna be a huge ass televised Law suit against the Gov 4 discrimination. I totally know like 4 law students. thogh doubt that'll happen eventually that whole Gays in the miltary thing is gonna have to be resolved. Who knows Maybe I'll be the reaso for it. I think that If you think that this is something you want to do and that you can do, Think about it because ita a serious chang in our life and if you come to the decision to go for t.Good Luck.
  • DJKeens

    Posts: 40

    Oct 23, 2007 8:41 AM GMT
    I've been enlisted for about 10 years now and I've really never played the game. I've never told anyone I was straight and only those I know well have I been completely open with. So the end result is everyone assumes I'm gay. But assumptions mean little in the grand schem of things. Regulation protects us for the most part. In fact, I was surprised, at my last sexual harrassment training, that there was actually several topics on homosexuals. A few of the questions even discredited the notion that a member could simply report someone for something like attending a gay pride or going to a known gay bar. This was a huge improvement to me since the year before the only mention of homosexuals involved incidents where heterosexual members were taken advantage of in a drunk state. I've been through 4 different tours and at every unit I've made it clear that the use of homophobic terms such as "fag" & "that's gay" is not acceptable. And honestly, I've been accepted at everyone of them. I know these guys have my back. I think it's most annoying though to hear the big wigs talk about breakdown of unit cohesion and every other crazy idea under the sun when the opposite is far more proven. I'll probably be a lifer but the only downfall I see when it comes to the policy is the possibility of relationships. My personal opinion (and it's different for everyone) is that it's just to difficult and uncertain to settle down and raise a family knowing that, even with all this acceptance, one person can take it all away from me. It angers me beause I've worked too damn hard for ignorant policies to kill it. But so far, everytime something's come up, everyone has had my back, from the CO down to the airmen. It helps to have the LCPO and on your side too. BTW support SLDN!
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    Oct 23, 2007 5:31 PM GMT
    I actually don't know what the big deal is. I served 8 years in the army. Sexually was never mentioned, yah the guys are crude and rude towards woman, but damn it, was funny stuff to me too. I never had a problem. I told the people I wanted to and still there was no problem. In my opinion those that want to change the rules for openness in the military are those that want to be free about their sexuality. For me thats not a big deal, what I do in the bedroom is no ones business but mine and the guy I'm bending over. Its always been that way for me and always will. I agree with what DJKeen has said, you cannot be kicked out the military for going to pride parades or gay bars infact if I read the rules correctly you can have literature on your person at any given time and still not be kicked out. I believe its the ACT of sex that they are trying to deny. Which I'm all for. Your in the military to serve, not give your buddy head in the fox hole, tank, commanding officers office...and so on. When you put on your uniform you are not gay whomever, you are a soldier. You become two people in my opinion. Yourself and the soldier you were trained to be.

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    Oct 23, 2007 5:52 PM GMT
    The issue is they don't want you giving your buddy head out of the foxhole either, on your own time. Fuck them. The military isn't good enough for gay men. Gay men rule!
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    Oct 24, 2007 1:43 PM GMT
    my bf was in the military and just got out...and i'm also from a military family. While it is a great honor to serve and I defintely respect the fellas that do it, here are a few questions to ask yourself before you sign up:

    Do you mind being around people who make fun of gays and their lifestyle, even if not in a menacing way? (don't smoke pole or pot fellas) Could you handle it daily?

    It is a career. To get ahead you have to live in some shit war torn places where safety is an issue and our lifestyle may not be culturally condoned...can you handle being somewhere, essentially alone where phonecalls are few and far between b/c of time zones?

    As your buddies you serve with get married, will you be able to consistently keep from getting set up on dates with their wives' friends and not come out?

    Are you willing to put your life on the line for the men and women you serve with...die to protect their lives, without them ever knowing who you really are?

    Are you ready to save the country countless times, knowingly put yourself at risk to better the culture, only to be rewarded with a salary just over the 6 figure mark and never having as much as those who stayed behind to be corporate? (military and federal GS scales are easily available on the internet...check for yourself)

    those are just a few considerations for a gay man to consider...granted you may serve with other gays, granted this isn't every branch of the forces, granted you could be placed anywhere...but after a while these concerns can grate on your mind nonstop...

    Again, I honor and value our men and women in the serves b/c i grew up in it overseas and now I date it...were I not born gay I too may have served, but frankly I do much better as a capitalist media fag setting the cultural 'buzz' agenda.

    =o]
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    Oct 24, 2007 6:34 PM GMT
    Mmmmmmm... head in a foxhole... that brings back memories... icon_lol.gificon_wink.gif
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    Oct 24, 2007 7:40 PM GMT
    I'm gay and I retired from the Army. It's a great profession. Just don't let anyone know you're gay. No one, not even another gay soldier. Go way off post to meet guys.