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September 19, 2011 10:36 PM   Subscribe

Immediately following the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, a previously-closeted gay soldier stationed in Germany calls his father to come out of the closet. (SLYT)
posted by mightygodking (67 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Days like today give me a little bit of hope that maybe not everything is going to complete shit and that progress is still possible.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:44 PM on September 19, 2011 [14 favorites]


For a moment I read it as, "soldier calls on gay father to come out of the closet", and thinking, Christ, what a dick!

This is better.
posted by 2N2222 at 10:45 PM on September 19, 2011 [20 favorites]


If I'm not mistaken, this is the guy who's been doing a series of anonymous videos about DADT and the repeal. IIRC guys in his unit were able to identify him from the backdrops/other uploads a couple weeks ago, and they were fine knowing that he's gay.

Good for him.
posted by sbutler at 10:46 PM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also that dad is awesome. As liberal as we may all pride ourselves on being, you have to know that subject is still a hard thing for a lot of parents to get a grasp on. I have friends who've come out to their parents and the reason their parents had a difficult time with it wasnt because they minded their son being gay, but because it can be such a hard life.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:47 PM on September 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


Context.
Was there a deleted post about this? Couldn't find it on the blue.
posted by dhartung at 10:51 PM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thats great, but doesn't it cheapen the conversation a little by recording it for upload to youtube.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:04 PM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


His nervousness is palpable. It's great to hear his dad say "I had my suspicions," because it seems to immediately relax him. Did this really just happen tonight?
posted by Gilbert at 11:11 PM on September 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


It is immensely brave to post a moment like this to Youtube. Bravo to him for his courage and his positive message for LGBT youth. The positive reception by his peers gives me hope that American society at large, and the government in particular, are slowly coming around.

Sure, the guy is obviously playing the "eye candy" game with the tight fitting shirts throughout his posts, but, at the end of the day, it still takes guts to put this kind of thing on the internet.
posted by conradjones at 11:27 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile at the front lines...
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:29 PM on September 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wasn't sure about watching this. It seemed like a private & personal thing. But if it helps to share what you're going though with strangers then share away.
posted by schwa at 11:39 PM on September 19, 2011


Thats great, but doesn't it cheapen the conversation a little by recording it for upload to youtube.

I can't help but feel the soldier posting this feels the opposite. Maybe he's doing it as kind of a part "it gets better" statement: "see, telling your family doesn't have to be too scary, you can do it too". I don't know.

You may feel it cheapens, he may feel the opposite. It doesn't have to be one thing to everybody.
posted by schwa at 11:43 PM on September 19, 2011 [20 favorites]


In related news: "Just as the formal repeal of the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy took effect, Navy Lt. Gary Ross and his partner were married before a small group of family and friends."
posted by scody at 12:24 AM on September 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'll likely have thoughtful, relevant things to say about this later, but for now, it's just so beautiful I can't think past my shivers.
posted by mostlymartha at 12:36 AM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Immediately following the repeat of Don't Ask Don't Tell, a previously-closeted gay soldier stationed in Germany calls his father to come out of the closet. (SLYT)

At first I read that as NPR's "Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!" and maybe Carl Kasell would be doing the talking for him.
posted by hal9k at 12:53 AM on September 20, 2011 [10 favorites]


Sure, the guy is obviously playing the "eye candy" game with the tight fitting shirts throughout his posts, but, at the end of the day, it still takes guts to put this kind of thing on the internet.

I think that the Army makes you wear the tight-fitting shirts. And work out.

Wait a moment...
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:42 AM on September 20, 2011 [18 favorites]


Good for him.

Good for them, too. There's been quite a shift in attitudes over the past few years, and I'm not sure what to attribute it to. It's nice to see life becoming a little more closely in line with reality.

I had to deliver the DADT repeal training to a company a couple of months ago. The reaction was widespread interest in how the change was going to work, but indifference to the fact of the change. The only negative comments I heard came from a couple of former infantry guys in the unit, so things might be different with those units.

Right now, because of the Defense of Marriage Act, gay spouses are not entitled to all the same benefits as straight spouses. I guess that'll be repealed next.
posted by atchafalaya at 3:03 AM on September 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man. Sorry, going to wander a little off topic, because all the DADT repeal news has had my brain wandering in circles.

It's really strange seeing this. Uplifting, and yet a little wistful for me.

At the time of my discharge under DADT in late 2007, it seemed like it was going to be a permanent fixture of the military, and I was honestly a little relieved, for reasons I'll get into in a second. Especially since my company and battalion command staff did everything they could to keep it fast and under wraps.

So it's awesome that current and future queer servicemembers won't have to lie, although of course some may choose to. I personally found it much more wearying and isolating than I had thought it would be.

Even with that being true though, I was sort of leaning in a possibly careerish direction, at least going to OCS and probably shooting for a commission in the 11 series MOS (although I'm not 100% sure that would have worked, I might have been tripped up by the same color vision thing that kept me out of combat arms at the MEPS). So there's a little bit of "what might have been" wondering, especially since civilian life hasn't been all that easy, what with the bottom falling out of the economy right after I got discharged.

It's not so much that, though, as that most of what I've done outside of the military has felt awfully pointless. I had a temp stint installing communications equipment in fire department vehicles, and that was alright. But I've also done some really soul-killing temp work related to corporate tax software, worked at a chain coffee shop, and other stuff. The sorts of jobs that really rob you of any sense of individual worth as a human being - the only reason you're there is that there aren't robots for it yet.

Especially while deployed, you knew that what you were doing mattered. When I was turret gunner for a vehicle movement, I knew that it mattered that I be alert. When I was setting up communications or troubleshooting something that had gone down, that mattered because those systems were how troops in contact got support. Even the shittiest of the shitty, guard shifts in the middle of summer wearing full armor: those mattered too.

But then I think there's something to be said for the position that it's tough to serve ethically, right now.

As for the relief, my deployment did no favors for the mental health of my loved ones. If I'd stayed in, I'd've been deployed again and again - and my plans to move into combat arms would have meant I'd've been getting shot at with a lot more regularity. I'm not sure how well a couple people in specific would have held together through 12-13 months of worrying about that.

This is why I've said that in some ways it's easier to be in a war zone than it is to have a loved one overseas. If you get shot at, you can... shoot back. What can the people back home do? Wait for a chaplain escorted by two NCOs, basically. Or in the case of queer SMs, not even that: my boyfriend would have been waiting for my family to think to call him after they got the visit.

Unless I got myself blown up in 2012 or something I guess? Then he could have had the visit.

Anyway. I'm glad that stupid policy is gone. I'm glad people don't have to lie any more. It's weird enough being in the military without the added layer of confusion from DADT. I'm glad this guy's got a good dad. I'm glad that DOMA will be that much harder to support, since they're no longer able to hide what it does to queer SMs.

Other than that, just as confused and ambivalent about the whole thing as I have been since 2007.

conrad - he's just wearing t-shirts that fit, none of those are the hilarious under-armor shirts that some guys liked wearing (and AFAIK all the Soldiers I saw wearing them were straight). Especially if you're in pretty decent shape, clothing that fits a little closer to the body just feels better, IMO.
posted by kavasa at 3:15 AM on September 20, 2011 [66 favorites]


Also in related news: Nearly 70 years after expelling Melvin Dwork for being gay, the Navy is changing his discharge from "undesirable" to "honorable" – marking what is believed to be the first time the Pentagon has taken such a step on behalf of a World War II veteran since the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."
posted by PapaLobo at 3:53 AM on September 20, 2011 [25 favorites]


"When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men, and a discharge for loving one." -- Leonard Matlovich (1943-1988)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:37 AM on September 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


Thats great, but doesn't it cheapen the conversation a little by recording it for upload to youtube.

No
posted by victors at 4:46 AM on September 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


The unit got over it.
posted by timsteil at 5:18 AM on September 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


the reason their parents had a difficult time with it wasnt because they minded their son being gay, but because it can be such a hard life.

my father had similar reservations and fears. a couple decades ago he thought it was a choice and that it was choosing a harder life. he wanted my life to be as easy as possible. there were a lot of subtle and not so subtle messages from my parents about not being gay. when i finally came out, he said "we've known for a long time, probably before you even did." these days my dad is the most progressive guy on the block, but it took some years to get there.
posted by nadawi at 5:22 AM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are still some atavistic pockets of resistance (North Carolina, I'm looking at you) but it appears that slowly, ever so slowly, one small justice is creeping across the land.

Here's hoping this change is a permanent one, that it's celebrated and relished and that everyone can then get back to living, only with our heads held a bit higher.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:29 AM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Very glad this repeal happened. Very glad.

Two guys that don't get a lot of credit but that should are Sec. Gates and Adm. Mullen. They executed a policy that they knew some of the more backward-looking people in their organization were not in favor of.

What struck me was when they went up to the Hill to testify for the policy late last summer. I saw the look on Sen. Jeff Session's face--deer in the headlights. I knew it was going to pass at that moment. I realized how afraid they were--how they had seen the issue had changed. Doubtless they had internal polling on the subject to see if hay could be made of it. Whatever they saw in the polling, it scared them. That made me so happy.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:39 AM on September 20, 2011 [20 favorites]


Can we hire back some of the translators we got rid of? It seemed for a while that half the Arabic translators we had were discharged under DADT.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:01 AM on September 20, 2011 [10 favorites]


When my friend from Ireland visited this February, one of the conversations we had was about DADT -- she'd heard the furor on the news, but didn't know what "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" actually was, and asked me about it. When I explained it, she was absolutely incensed. "People actually think that gay men and women aren't fit to serve their country?" She said over and over. "In this day and age?" When I told her it had replaced an even worse policy, she was even more incensed.

So along with everyone else, there's a physics teacher over in County Cork who is cheering this right now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:27 AM on September 20, 2011 [14 favorites]


Especially while deployed, you knew that what you were doing mattered.

In more ways than one.
posted by Trurl at 6:27 AM on September 20, 2011


the reason their parents had a difficult time with it wasnt because they minded their son being gay, but because it can be such a hard life.

I sympathize with this reasoning, I really do. My mom felt this way too. In my experience though, it is very often the people who are concerned about the hard life their children are up against who are themselves making it hard for their children. This reasoning can be truly felt, but it can also be lip service to mask homophobia. It can even be both at the same time.

That doesn't seem to be the case with this dad, thankfully. What a wonderful way to mark the repeal of DADT, and remarkable strength on behalf of both the soldier and his dad.
posted by arcticwoman at 7:41 AM on September 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


In more ways than one.

Care to elaborate?
posted by joe lisboa at 8:02 AM on September 20, 2011


This is great, but we're not out of the woods, yet. If the courts agree with the government and quash the Log Cabin Republicans' lawsuit, President Perry and his Republican Congress can just reinstate DADT (or something worse) in a few years.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:18 AM on September 20, 2011



This is great, but we're not out of the woods, yet. If the courts agree with the government and quash the Log Cabin Republicans' lawsuit, President Perry and his Republican Congress can just reinstate DADT (or something worse) in a few years.


I dunno...I don't think this genie is going back in the bottle.
posted by spicynuts at 8:22 AM on September 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Y'know, I may be a Northeastern, liberal, queer, arugula-eating elitist, but I'm also proud to be American. And today, I'm a little bit prouder.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 8:44 AM on September 20, 2011


About damn time Obama accomplished something I can support 100%.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:49 AM on September 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


What a great dad. Plus one for Alabama!
posted by halfbuckaroo at 8:50 AM on September 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is great, but we're not out of the woods, yet. If the courts agree with the government and quash the Log Cabin Republicans' lawsuit, President Perry and his Republican Congress can just reinstate DADT (or something worse) in a few years.

I dunno...I don't think this genie is going back in the bottle.


all the more reason to vote for the guy who brought it forward to Congress and signed it, President Obama.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:52 AM on September 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


I think "President Perry" is all the reason I need.
posted by spicynuts at 9:22 AM on September 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Note that his accent is much more prominent when talking on the phone than it was in the pre-phone-call intro!
posted by kenko at 10:02 AM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


This was not cheap at all. It was a beautiful moment. And seeing this might help someone else. Today, things got just a little bit more equal. Looking forward to even more progress.
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:21 AM on September 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is quite amazing. Although I sort of feel the same as the people who say it feels a little uncomfortable to watch something so private being conducted publicly, (a) people cope with that sort of thing differently and maybe this is just a good way for the bloke involved to deal with the situation, and (b) I know if I saw this video when I was younger it would have really helped me realise that being gay doesn't mean you have to grow up in a certain way and that people from all walks of life are gay. Good on him.
posted by garlicsmack at 10:25 AM on September 20, 2011


President Perry and his Republican Congress can just reinstate DADT (or something worse) in a few years

President Perry wouldn't even need Congress -- he could do it by himself. Congress didn't actually repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell; it just passed a law allowing the executive branch to repeal it. That means the executive branch could un-repeal it.

Thankfully, I don't think that will happen.
posted by Tin Man at 10:36 AM on September 20, 2011


President Perry and his Republican Congress can just reinstate DADT (or something worse) in a few years

President Perry wouldn't even need Congress -- he could do it by himself. Congress didn't actually repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell; it just passed a law allowing the executive branch to repeal it. That means the executive branch could un-repeal it.


This is incorrect. 10 USC 654 is repealed as law. A new enactment would be needed:
(f) Treatment of 1993 Policy-
(1) TITLE 10- Upon the effective date established by subsection (b), chapter 37 of title 10, United States Code, is amended--
(A) by striking section 654; and
(B) in the table of sections at the beginning of such chapter, by striking the item relating to section 654.
(2) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Upon the effective date established by subsection (b), section 571 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 (10 U.S.C. 654 note) is amended by striking subsections (b), (c), and (d).
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c111:7:./temp/~c111L4Y4Zt::

Even if a president were to "uncertify," the law has already been struck. A positive enactment would be required.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:11 AM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The moments when he asks, "do you still love me?" and when Dad tells him that he does and always will, are surpassed only by the hard swallow when Dad tells him how proud he is. Dad gave him a huge (well-deserved) present with those words.

Thankfully, I have similarly awesome parents, equally accepting. But Man Oh Man do I still identify with his rapid heartbeat, the fear that you might be about to break a family, hurt loved ones, cut yourself off. In retrospect, it was a great thing, coming out, that I should have done sooner, but in the moment (and the many years leading up to the moment) it was like a big chasm looming in my path. I wish I had something of greater substance to contribute, but I can only echo a YouTube commenter.

"Who is chopping all these onions?"

At work without headphones, so can't crank the volume. I don't suppose there is a transcript floating around?
posted by CaptApollo at 12:11 PM on September 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Heavy, heavy sigh.

I feel like today, after carrying it around for 26 years, I can set this burden down.

I had to give up a free-ride NROTC scholarship to Notre Dame back in '86. This was even before DADT, where if they found out you'd lied about being gay, you could be dishonorably discharged, fined, imprisoned, whatever. After my first year in college, I was so afraid they'd find out, so stressed by having to keep it a secret and so upset at living the lie that I just declined to continue my life-long dream of serving as an officer in the Navy.

I know other friends that stayed in, got their commissions, served their country proudly. My decision ended up costing me hundreds of thousands of dollars in schooling and career salary, not to mention the opportunity to fulfill my most profound goals, as I've shared before. Too late for me, but at least current and future gay servicemen and women won't have to deal with this ugly, ugly discrimination. A very important page is being turned and a new chapter is beginning.

Finally, this nonsense in human history is put to an end and we can move forward with our civilization.
posted by darkstar at 3:17 PM on September 20, 2011 [13 favorites]


@darkstar so upset at living the lie that I just declined to continue my life-long dream

For all the people so afflicted - in and out of the service - knowingly or unknowingly deprived of opportunity on a whim, on many of life's fronts, over and over, sometimes on mere suspicions - often without anything said or even hinted at - today is a sad, long overdue vindication. It's just become harder for the bastards to play their nasty games in that way. I'm not quite ready to believe they're done yet.
posted by Twang at 4:13 PM on September 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


He's still a soldier who loves his country. He's a child who is loved by his parents, as it should be.

(If I may share a story: Years ago, a friend came out of the closet. I was probably one of the first people she told. After being kind of freaked out and wondering what it all "meant," and after absorbing it, I realized that the only thing that had changed was that I knew a little more about her than I did before. And that I felt honored that she trusted me enough to tell me. And that it must have been a hard thing to do, to tell whomever for the first time.)
posted by SillyShepherd at 5:06 PM on September 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why I’m Staying in the Closet: One Gay Soldier on the Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
posted by homunculus at 5:33 PM on September 20, 2011


After being kind of freaked out and wondering what it all "meant," and after absorbing it, I realized that the only thing that had changed was that I knew a little more about her than I did before. And that I felt honored that she trusted me enough to tell me. And that it must have been a hard thing to do, to tell whomever for the first time.

Sadly, I went through this on Friday, when I told my supervisor that I was gay.

(Well, he and I were having a bit of a "you've been working here for a while, let's get to know each other a bit" conversation, and he asked me if I was married, and I said no, and he asked if I was single, and I said no, and he said "Oh, a girlfriend", and I said "actually, I've been with the same guy for about 18 years".

He didn't bat an eye, didn't ask questions, didn't delve or freak out.

In some ways I wish he had. Right now I have no idea what he thinks about it all, whether his non-reaction is because he's cool with the concept or because WA is a state where sexual orientation is part of the non-discrimination clause. I'm a delivery driver who spends about 3 hours out of a 9+ hour day in the warehouse, so I don't know what conversations have happened with other workers while I'm out on the road...

I've been an out queer since 1990, but have been a bit reluctant to be all "out and proud" with this new job since I'm convinced that it was that attitude which led to the textbook-case workplace bullying / mobbing I went through at my last workplace. Needless to say, this is all a bit wearing on me, and I have no idea at this point who knows what and who I can be and how relaxed I can be with information about myself in my workplace.

Anyone who isn't gay and is reading this -- I hope you take this as a bit of a life lesson about the tyranny of the closet and how difficult it can be to be homosexual in our society, even in 2011. It's something y'all never have to think about, never have to bat an eye about. Even the most innocent question, like "so, what did you do this weekend?" can be fraught with danger and questioning if what the answer is "well, my man and I went into town and had a nice breakfast and ran errands." You can only substitute "we" for so long before people start asking who the other part of "we" might be.

*sigh*
posted by hippybear at 6:18 PM on September 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Congrats, hippybear, on coming out to your boss. Really hope it works out well moving forward.
posted by darkstar at 7:15 PM on September 20, 2011


About damn time Obama accomplished something I can support 100%.

It struck me as odd that there was no direct MetaFilter post about this. Yet there were plenty when the battle to end DADT was going on, almost all filled with disgust and anger for Obama.

Now that it's over, all he gets from Mefi is a back handed compliment. I am surprised, but I probably shouldn't be.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:44 PM on September 20, 2011


I happily salute the brave LGBT servicemen and women who give so much to protect this country, and I agree this is a significant milestone for the recognition of LGB equality. But we've still got a long way to go, especially for the silent T in LGBT.

Sorry, don't mean this to come off as threadcrapping, just that the (once again) omission of T-peeps by the media pushes my button.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 9:04 PM on September 20, 2011


It's an interesting observation, Brandon. I don't know if it can be attributed to anything systemic at MeFi. Perhaps. But it seems like the final end to DADT is going out not with a bang, but with a whimper, and so celebrating via these more intimate, more personal testimonials, such as the posted YT link shows, seems somehow more in keeping with the tone. Maybe that's why there has been no great FPP extolling it. Or maybe it's just a fluke.

It is more subdued, really, than all the sound and fury that has gone before. The final death rattle of this heinous policy is a very personal and somber one for me, not because I mourn its passing, at all. But like the death of a long-hated enemy, sometimes the only thing you muster is just a deep sigh as you drag your hand over your face and then drag the sheet over its corpse.

The painful wounds left by this enemy are still there, but they're beginning to scar over. You know that there will be more enemies out there with daggers drawn. The bigots at Focus on the Family will be out there trying to stir up shit this coming Sunday, no doubt. The bigot signatories of the Manhattan Declaration will be petitioning to overturn California's SB48. The bigots at NOM will be working to unravel gay marriage progress. The GOP will be marshaling their evangelical wing to preach their politics from the pulpits, while progressives will be trying to exert whatever influence they can as ENDA and DOMA are still major battles to be fought.

There's a lot of pain and suffering and discrimination left for those of us in this particular fight. For me, it seems like the final end to DADT is something to celebrate wildly, and I wish I had the energy. But it just feels like one step in a long-ass struggle for equality and I've been kinda beat down by it for so long that its hard to get pumped up, even when we have a reason. Because when you look out over the horizon, there's stil a lot of bigotry and hatred and political pandering to the bigots and the haters.

Nevertheless, Brandon makes a good point: this should be a cause for great celebration. And Obama deserves serious and full-throated praise. I voted for him primarily because of the SCOTUS, and because he wasn't McCain and a couple of other key reasons, so everything else he has done that I've agreed with I've treated like a pleasant side-benefit. Which has kind of cheapened my attitude toward Obama a bit, I will admit.

But this is big, and it's fantastic. To repurpose the words of Joe Biden, this is a Big Fucking Deal! So thank you, President Obama, for taking a very bold step forward for our society. For being purposeful in helping bend that arc of the moral universe ever closer toward justice. And cheers, all, on the occasion of this wonderful victory for equality!
posted by darkstar at 9:06 PM on September 20, 2011


I suppose all of the above could have been stated much more concisely if I'd just recalled how, rather than cheering wildly at the moment of victory, Admiral Ackbar simply sighed and slumped back in his chair. That's kind of how I feel.

Please do not convey the emotional power of that cinematic moment to George Lucas, lest he edit the scene to feature Ackbar juggling or shooting off a six-gun or something in wild celebration. You know, to make it more clear for the audience what Ackbar was feeling and GRAR LUCAS sorry for the derail
posted by darkstar at 9:15 PM on September 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fiberoptic - I've been wondering about that. There's another veteran in my WoW guild that actually passed SFAS (!!!) before deciding to transition. I think anyone that's intense enough to do that maybe might have liked to continue serving (albeit as a different MOS) as a woman, but I've never asked her.

hippy - I totally do the "we" thing and have had similar worries. I try to remind myself that I'm not nearly so fascinating to other people as I am to myself and that at the end of the day they don't care a whole lot. It helps.
posted by kavasa at 9:39 PM on September 20, 2011


This made me cry in such a good way.
posted by estherhaza at 6:13 AM on September 21, 2011


This is incorrect. 10 USC 654 is repealed as law. A new enactment would be needed

By golly you're right. I stand corrected.
posted by Tin Man at 6:41 AM on September 21, 2011


But it just feels like one step in a long-ass struggle for equality

Has there ever been an easy struggle for equality?
posted by Ironmouth at 7:02 AM on September 21, 2011


to elaborate:

There's a lot of pain and suffering and discrimination left for those of us in this particular fight. For me, it seems like the final end to DADT is something to celebrate wildly, and I wish I had the energy. But it just feels like one step in a long-ass struggle for equality and I've been kinda beat down by it for so long that its hard to get pumped up, even when we have a reason. Because when you look out over the horizon, there's stil a lot of bigotry and hatred and political pandering to the bigots and the haters.
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it's been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:45 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


hippy - I totally do the "we" thing and have had similar worries. I try to remind myself that I'm not nearly so fascinating to other people as I am to myself and that at the end of the day they don't care a whole lot. It helps.

After what I lived through at my old job, the whole "they don't care a lot" thing doesn't ring as true as it once did. I'm taking my cautious time at this job, because while the workplace bullying didn't quite drive me to suicide last time around, it probably would if I had to endure it again.
posted by hippybear at 3:12 PM on September 21, 2011


I just want to share my favorite "coming out to dad" story.

My high school girlfriend had a gay little brother. No one who ever met Jordan had any doubt, but he was still a little kid, and so of course no one is going to talk about it. He came out at 13, which is brave enough by any standard, but he was living in small-town Oklahoma at the time. (It helps that his family was from Mississauga, and that Bartlesville was shockingly accepting of gays, but still, brave as hell.)

His father said what is, as far as I can tell, the most perfect thing a father can say in that situation, though I'll be paraphrasing obviously:

"I love you, and I know. You're my son. Listen. This is going to make your life a lot more difficult for reasons that aren't your fault. I just want you to know that you can count on me to have your back."

Should I ever have a gay son or lesbian daughter I can only hope that I would say something so perfect in that situation, except that I hope that such a statement will be unnecessary by then.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:38 AM on September 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


"The Marines were the service most opposed to ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, but they were the only one of five invited branches of the military to turn up with their recruiting table and chin-up bar at ... [Tulsa's glbt] center Tuesday morning. Although Marines pride themselves on being the most testosterone-fueled of the services, they also ferociously promote their view of themselves as the best. With the law now changed, the Marines appear determined to prove that they will be better than the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard in recruiting gay, lesbian and bisexual service members."
posted by rtha at 9:02 AM on September 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


rtha: I'd missed that news article - that's wonderful. Hell yeah, Marines! Way to go!
posted by rmd1023 at 10:15 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I believe you mean OOO-RAH DEVIL DOGS! SEMPER FI!
posted by rtha at 12:29 PM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


The night Republicans booed a soldier: Ugly outbursts from GOP debate audiences threaten to make the party's image problem even worse
posted by homunculus at 10:02 PM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


At this rate, the GOP is going to nominate Fred Phelps.
posted by scody at 10:08 PM on September 22, 2011


So three debates, three really revealing glimpses into the GOP audience pathology:

1. Cheering wildly at executions.

2. Cheering for letting sick, uninsured people die instead of receiving government help.

3. Booing an active-service soldier fighting overseas in a war because he's gay.

They're on such a roll...any predictions for their next debate?
posted by darkstar at 11:00 PM on September 22, 2011


After Criticism, Santorum Condemns Audience’s Jeers And Thanks Gay Soldier For Service
posted by homunculus at 4:15 PM on September 23, 2011


They're on such a roll...any predictions for their next debate?

Will there be questions from the audience? If so, I'm going to put my money on viciously shouting down a nervous teenager who prefaces her question by mentioning that her parents immigrated here to look for a better life for their family.
posted by scody at 11:26 PM on September 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


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