TONIGHT! I will be reading journal excerpts from my first year in the US Navy as a gay man during Don’t Ask Don’t Tell - Including a play by play of how I lost my V-card with a fellow sailor. Come enjoy the show!
Making Out with Wes Perry and Friends
Wednesday February 20th at 8pm
The Upstairs Gallery in Andersonville
5219 N Clark St
FREE and BYOB! ($5 suggested donation)
December 22, 2010
Today, more than any other day,
I am proud to be serving in the US Armed Forces.
Camera: Polaroid SX-70
Film: Polaroid SX-70 Time Zero
(3/10 from my next-to-last box of last stock TZ film)
Not bad. I enjoyed it for the most part. Got to travel all over and meet amazing people. I always told myself it was all temporary, which made it easier to deal and play along with bullshit. Much of it is bullshit. Some of it was genuine. It fosters a very simple, limited perspective and utopic existence. I kinda miss it sometimes, it was easier to just live. But I wouldn’t trade the freedom I have now.
Every Monday, artists of all types descend upon Beauty Bar to bring to life works that defy traditional genres, from dance pieces crafted in basements to puppet shows put together in attics to stories written on the CTA to the side projects of local legends. Conceived and curated by Jane Beachy, SALONATHON strives to support the creation of new, emerging and underground art in Chicago and beyond.
Kiam Marcelo Junio is a multimedia artist working in photography, video, sculpture, and performance art. Kiam served seven years in the US Navy and a registered Yoga teacher. He is currently studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Kiam was born in the Philippines and has lived in the US, Japan, and Spain. He speaks English, Tagalog, and Spanish.
So many Americans are anti-Obama these days. Millions of people watch Fox News and actually believe the gibberish being spouted at them. It’s only recently that the Tea Party seems to be taking a break from their hate parade. The whole Republican party seems dead-set on “de-throning the socialist king” or something along those lines.
Everyone should click over to this website just to get a taste of what has been accomplished in the past 2 years. There’s more where that came from, beginning with the DADT Repeal.
Today I’m proud to be American and a member of the Armed Forces. And I don’t say that nearly enough.
Although the DADT repeal is signed, there is still at least a 60 day congressional waiting period before it is completely, legally, repealed. In the meanwhile, I hope the military can proceed with the transitional/cultura/sensitivity/etc. training, so we can all move on with our lives, as a military, a country with increased freedoms.
Interestingly enough, this came in today for our daily “Today in the Military” newsfeed from our hospital’s Command Master Chief; a history of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, what the rules were before, and what they are now. The future, meanwhile, if for us to decide.
TODAY IN NAVAL HISTORY
21 DECEMBER 1993
“DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL”
Inappropriate sexual behavior of any orientation is a threat to good order and discipline and therefore has always been prohibited. The first serviceman censured for homosexual behavior was LT Gotthold F. Enslin, who was discharged from the Continental Army in 1778 for sodomy. But until WWII these policies focused on homosexual behavior rather than homosexual individuals.
That changed in 1942 as America geared up for WWII. The military added psychiatric diseases to the list of medical conditions for which prospective soldiers, sailors and Marines were screened. In those days homosexuality was considered a psychiatric disorder, and, along with sufferers of other psychiatric diseases, homosexuals were considered medically unfit. Servicemen whose sexual orientation became apparent after their enlistment were administratively discharged. This mistaken medical belief in the pathology of homosexuality shifted attention from homosexual behavior to homosexual orientation even in the absence of behavior. The resulting anti-gay attitude of the military was reinforced as recently as 1982 in DoD Directive 1332.14 which re-affirmed that homosexual orientation was incompatible with military service.
However increasing reports of gay-bashing among servicemen began to surface. These culminated on 27 October 1992 in the case of RM3 Allen R. Schindler, Jr., who was brutally beaten to death in a public restroom in Sasebo by two of his USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA-3) shipmates. RM3 Schindler was awaiting discharge himself, having advised his chain of command of anti-gay threats and pranks leveled against him in the preceding months. The 1992 Presidential election was in full swing at that moment, and Democratic front-runner William J. Clinton cited Schindler’s case in his reasons for favoring repeal of military anti-gay policies.
On this date Secretary of Defense Les Aspin signed DoD Directive 1304.26, commonly called “Don’t ask, Don’t tell, Don’t pursue.” Though falling short of Clinton’s campaign promise for all-out repeal of anti-gay policy, the order compromised two diametrically opposed factions. The directive forbade officials from inquiring as to a servicemember’s sexual orientation, but allowed administrative separation in cases of servicemen openly admitting or engaging in homosexual behaviors, “except for the purpose of avoiding or terminating military service.” The “Don’t pursue” clause prohibited investigations of allegations unless certain clearly specified credible information was present. Critics of Clinton’s policy claim it is too compromising, and it requires gays to lie in order to serve.
I had no internet over the weekend, so this is a bit of late news, but a good one, nevertheless.
Here’s a direct quote from Gawker.com user S.A.Tan which I found especially poignant:
“Because I can’t be bothered to reply to Freerepubs, Glenn Beck’s crew, and FoxNation, I’ll preach to the choir:
1. Gays in the military will not cause America to go backwards. Gays have been in the military THIS WHOLE TIME. They just get to talk about their partners *openly* when you talk about your hetero gf/bf in the foxhole.
2. Why is it always the 10 lbs of ugly in the 5lb sack that are worried that the gays will hit on them in the service? These are the same douchebags who think all women want them. I’m from a military family, I’ve seen some of you boys - you’ve got the face of a scrotum and the personality to match. NO ONE wants you. Gays have standards baby, and even in war, you ain’t it.
3. If you are so flipping unhappy that the gays get to serve their country, I suggest you winch yourself out of your La-Z-Boy and march down to the local recruitment office. You love America so much you can’t stand to let others proudly serve? YOU dodge bullets in some God forsaken Hell hole for a few years. These people are making the ultimate sacrifice for your bigoted self, and every other American out there. They are TWICE the men and women you will ever be.
4. I believe in God. Please stop using one singular line from the Bible to castigate an entire group of people, or I am going to be forced to call you out on the rest of Leviticus and see how well you stack up against the Holy Word.
5. The arguments made right now about gays serving are the exact same ones made in the 50’s when the military was desegregated (it will harm rank cohesion, people won’t be able to trust one another, etc). It was a bullshit stall tactic then, and it is now.
6. For as much as some of you outright hate the gays, you should be *happy* that more of them will get to fight and die in our pointless wars, while you get to sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Nothing like genocide plus war theatre to get the old motor running, eh fellas?
7. Fact is, most of these ‘faggots’ are more men than you will ever be, and that just eats you up inside. The fact that a dude can be strong, decisive, powerful, and love another dude confuses and probably tingles your loins in a way you don’t like to think about. Well man up, Sally.
They’re here, they’re queer, and they’re saving your country.
Get Over It.”
from member, mgallagher713:
“Having a military that discriminates against a portion of our population for no reason is a civil rights issue that effects everyone. It speaks to the value that our society places on individuals and how a person’s sexual orientation effects that value.
People in the armed forces were against allowing African Americans to serve equally the military. Some well-meaning people were afraid for their safety if they were allowed in as equals. We desegregated the military, not to make our soldiers happy, but to promote equality based on the belief that everyone should be allowed to serve their country.
And by the by, the way we get the world we have to be closer to the world we want, is by pushing for the changes that we want to see.”