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Open Letter
Gays and Lesbians
in the U.S. Military

By Punkerslut,
to the Family Research Council (FRC)

Photograph of Two Women on a Hammock, Circa 1900
Image: Two Women on a Hammock, Circa 1900

Start Date: March 17, 2010
Finish Date: March 17, 2010


     There is an interesting offer to sign a petition on your website. "Do not let our military be used to advance a radical sexual agenda." The phrasing here is hostile and antagonistic. When we integrated the military, and allowed there to be both black and white leaders in mixed units, nobody called it a "radical racial agenda." It should have been seen for exactly what it was: people trying to be open and honest about their identity, and a society that wants to destroy them for it.

     "Help Protect Our Troops." That is the title of the link that brings me to the page to sign this petition. It is not a petition to keep soldiers out of wars for profit and oil. It is not about stopping the sacrifice of our children so that CEOs at Halliburton can make an extra buck off of government contracts. It is not about putting the officers under the control of their soldiers, nor is it about protecting troops from the vanity and glory of their commanders. The petition says nothing about the threats to "our troops" that come from within our own nation. It wants to protect them... from being in an atmosphere where men and women are comfortable enough to discuss their own sexuality.

     The expectation that government puts before the military is that they'll be willing to both die and kill for the supremacy of their nation in battle. Think of the absurdity of a soldier dying for this nation -- but not once during their life were they able to say exactly who they are to the nation. They are expected to give the ultimate sacrifice; but they cannot talk about themselves to those who are expecting this. They are dying almost anonymously.

     Some might object and say that a sexuality does not define a human being, but it is an essential part of one's identity. Consider someone who may be straight and has a family. Could they really talk about who they are and what their life experience is -- without mentioning their loved ones? But this is what is imposed upon anyone who is Homosexual and in the United States military. The greatest experience in life, the love of another, is something that they would have to conceal and hide, as though it were a source of shame. What could have been a beautiful connection between two in love and the community becomes something that must be hidden. It is tragic that humanity is the main cause of its own miseries.

     An intimate relationship with another person can be the height of ecstasy for the individual. But if it is "inappropriate" in the eyes of some people, it must be concealed, withdrawn, and even despised. It reminds me of the Dreyfuss Affair, where the French military punished an officer for being Jewish. If the military is genuinely concerned with protecting citizens, then why is it behaving like the inquisition? Why should it feel that it has the right to interrogate and question those who want to protect their nation? And, ultimately, is it not the mislead direction of the military, as a vehicle for imperialism and exploitation, that is the greatest threat to every soldier? Bill Hicks has been answered this question far more ably than I could...

"Here's how I feel about gays in the military: Anyone ... dumb enough ... to want to be in the military ... should be allowed in. End of fucking story. That should be the only requirement. I don't care how many push-ups you can do - put on a helmet, go wait in that fox hole. We'll tell you when we need you to kill somebody. I've been watching all these Congressional hearings and all these military guys and all the pundits going, 'The esprit de corps will be affected, and we are such a moral ...' Excuse me, but aren't you all a bunch of fucking hired killers? Shut up! You are thugs, and when we need you to go blow the fuck out of a nation of little brown people, we'll let you know."
          --Bill Hicks, 1997
          "Rant in E Minor"

Thank you for your time,
Andy Carloff

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