In a show of characteristic existential absurdity, the Government is working to repealing DADT for Memorial Day - a day when we remember those who get killed while serving this country in war time - thereby giving GLBT people the opportunity to get their asses shot off in or out of the closet.
My mother says that there won't be a draft any time soon because they'd have to draft women and "they" won't do that. She's probably right about that because she's usually right about most things. But if there ever is a draft again, you won't be able to dodge it by being GLB or T which must be a BFD since the Patriarchy has had issues with Gay Men for generations. If it had been remotely okay to be Gay back in the day, the draft board would have looked like La Cage Aux Folles during the Vietnam War.
Parents across the country thought it was better to send their sons to Canada and risk never seeing them again than to simply say they were gay and keep them home safely. The operative term here is Safely since we all know what happened to Matthew Shepard just 12 years ago. And Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover understood just how problematic being Gay could be in April, 2009.
But back to the Military. To explain the draft process during the Vietnam War, a character in Hair says, "The draft is white people sending black people to make war on the yellow people to defend the land they stole from the red people." Although Black Boys/White Boys includes the idea of homosexuality in the military by using men as the back up singers, the number focuses on inter-racial sex. Inter-racial sex might have been taboo, but it wasn't keeping anybody from going into the military.
Maybe homosexuality was such an open secret at the time that it didn't raise eyebrows - much like Klinger in M.A.S.H. was a running gag. But then, Klinger wasn't really Gay - he was a hairy straight man in drag. I'm thinking that during Vietnam, queer folks had to be so firmly in the closet that most people would not or could not acknowledge the implications in the gay chorus in Hair. Much better to shout about all those degenerate Hippies. Who knows, though. Maybe the military was a haven for gays and all these Conservative Christians have fucked it up for them, too.
In 1978, when The Village People made this video, I know exactly what homosexuality was. In 1975, around the time Nixon resigned, my uncle told me that after his divorce he thought he might be homosexual. I knew that homosexuality had something to do with two men being together, but I had no hint of the specifics. Here s/he is a couple of years ago with Barney Frank:
Turns out that Uncle Jennifer was not a homosexual at all because as a post-op tranny, Jennifer still prefers women which I suppose means he was always a lesbian. This gender stuff is tricky.
For myself, I wish there were a draft - for about 10 days or so - just long enough to watch these teabaggers go fucking insane when their own kids have to get out of their Cameros and into woefully under-protected vehicles in territory where Haliburton employees do the same jobs in better circumstances for five times the money.
But then, I still think the best way to honor our war dead is by declaring Peace.
All we are saying . . .
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