Saturday, May 29, 2010

DADT: Fatal Equality

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 . . .


Beach Bum said...

For a very long time I thought they would have to reinstate the draft but after hearing what a few people have said I don't think so anymore.

One of those people was Jon Stewart, he said the minute they bring back the draft Vietnam style and size protests would come back and I agree.

Ain't nothing funnier than to see some college-aged war geek talk about "killing the enemy" and realize that if it ever came to him being forced by a draft to put his ass on the line he would be running to Canada in a second.

Mauigirl said...

Great post - very good points. It is a long strange trip when it comes to gays in the military, isn't it? We all know they've been there all along so I have no idea why it is such a problem to repeal DADT.

I agree, if there were a draft these gung-ho "patriotic" teapartiers would be the first ones sending their kids across the northern border.

Always loved Arlo Guthrie's response to the Draft, his famous Thanksgiving Massacre (Alice's Restaurant). Maybe everyone should just walk into their local recruiting offices, sing a few bars of "Alice's Restaurant" and walk out - and people would think it is a Movement!

PENolan said...

We'll keep making noise over here on the Group W bench - and hope that somewhere out there, somebody's paying attention.

Jaliya said...

All I am saying ... is that I lurve you!! I'm on my way to two surprise parties this weekend -- one for a dear, wacky friend who's turning 65 (!! -- wow, you know you've hit a certain age when your *friends* are gettin' the discounts ...) and one tomorrow for my auntie who's turning 80 (but still acts like she's eight. What a little imp she is!)

I'm going to cruise your latest posts with lots of time and ease after the weekend ...

DADT = Daft, Assholian, Dipshit Tenet! Good bloody riddance to it and ALL suffocating closets!


Dr. Monkey said...

Brilliant post. Thanks.

PENolan said...

Jaliya, have fun!

Thank you, Doctor.

Gail said...

Hey Texas-

Great post - Jeeze - you are SO witty and all - and so able to make intelligent points blended in with such humor and power. Lordy Lordy!!

When my son was little - maybe 10, somehow we were in conversation about homosexuality. I asked him how one knew if someone was 'Gay'. He said "if the guys wrist is limp that means he is Gay-(and he made the hand gesture with his hand pointed down)!! too funny, huh? :-)

I am visiting a few blogs - good distraction amidst the all consuming journey with my Mom's illness.

love you

PENolan said...

I'm visiting blogs and writing here instead of writing ten more end-of-year reports on my two and three year olds.

Keeping you and your family in the light.

Vancouver Voyeur said...

I like the idea of give peace a chance. It reminds me of the time peace broke out on the War front on Christmas Eve during WWI. Peace broke out, the guys on both sides played a game of soccer, shared, booze, cigarettes and photos of family. The next day, none of them would shoot at one another. Both sides had to transfer their men out to different locations in order to get them to fight again. They threatened them with court martial if they ever spoke about it, can't have peace just breaking out willy nilly all over the front lines, now can we? Here's a great music video on it:

PENolan said...

I love that story, V.V. and it's a cool video, too.
Thanks for sharing

Liberality said...

and it's 1,2,3
what are we fighting for?
don't ask me
I don't give a damn
next stop is Viet Nam.

Yeah, it must be that having your ass on the line makes all the difference in your attitude towards war. Now 5 deferment Cheney wanna be's don't have to make excuses and can say all kinds of stupid shit about how war is "necessary".

Good post!

PENolan said...

And great video about boycotting BP you posted over at Wulfshead, Liberality.

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