Monday, June 05, 2023

Remains of the Day (06/05)

Manspread Monday: And he knows how to read

Instagram: When Mandate(!) wrote up Blondie's performance at New York's Gay Liberation Day 1977

1 comment:

VRCooper said...

Don't ask, Don't Tell--

The policy was a compromise. Bill Clinton wanted to go much further.

I was in the Air Force-medic/medical readiness instructor-and was honorably discharged in 1990.

I was living in Dallas in 1993 and protested in the streets because of the policy. Yes, I made the evening news and the next day I had to field questions at work. It was no big deal.

When I was in the military folks knew I was gay. Being in the medical field half of the hospital was gay. I remember an all-hands staff meeting-commanders call-in the hospital theater when the commander opened up the floor for questions. One guy was bold enough to stand and ask the commander what he was going to do with all the gays in the hospital. At that moment I had a dozen sets of eyes staring at me. The hospital commander answered angrily. "If I kick out all the gays in the hospital airman, who in the hell is going is going to run the damn place!" He rushed on to the next question. That was true. We ruled the hospital. We were good at what we did and folks just let sleeping dogs lie.

I was in for 4 1/2 years. Enlistments are four years and I extended 6 months to accept a special assignment. I was 30 days short and could extend in increments of 30 days. I just made it six months.

I had roommates who knew I was gay and it was no big deal. I even had a roommate that would come over to my side of the room before a date so that I could give him the once-over to ensure he looked presentable. I had roommates bring me gifts from their work travels. I even told one friend, he had his own room, to put on underwear before he headed out to the base club. He was hung like a horse and that thing looked like it could strangle somebody. He just pulled off his pants, reach over to his dresser, pulled up a pair of briefs, put his pants back on, and asked how things looked now. One last story. In the military, we were assigned extra duties every so often, and I was paired with this guy who hated gays. He saw me and let me know in uncertain terms that he was unhappy to be part of my group. I made it a point throughout the day to treat him like a king. I made sure he had beverages, food, rest, and whatnot. At the end of the day, he said he changed his mind about the gays. He stated I wasn't all that bad. Fast forward a year or so later at another base, I hear this guy calling my name. I turned around, looked down the street, and it was him. He came up, gave me a big hug, and wanted to know how life was treating me. Good times.

A great book to read concerning the gays and lesbians in the government sector and the hell we went through is SECRET CITY-The Hidden History of Gay Wshington-James Kirchick.

It brings me to tears how far gays have been formally accepted in the military today.

Best--Sgt Cooper