A friend of mine asked me this today on facebook regarding the recent decisions about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).
What is your take on the talk about the whole “thorny issues” coming up since the DADT….like talk of segregating gays from straights in bunks/showers??? WTF? This is going to get way worse before it gets better. How do we stop this?
I quickly shot off an answer:
Wow, deep question. I think it’s healthy to have “talks” about how to handle those issues. I try to think about what it would be like if I were straight. I mean, it is one thing to accept, respect and promote equality. It’s a whole other thing when you’re naked in the showers with one another. Most guys don’t want other guys seeing their ‘junk’ gay or not. I can agree with showers having partitions between the shower heads that only makes sense, even now. But sleeping quarters? not needed. You don’t sleep naked or anything.
The truth is, before I was asked, I really hadn’t given it much thought. I always assume that people are going to argue their point, express what they believe and so on. Why not? This is America, this is what our soldiers fight for, right?
So, do these discussions really matter?
Of course they do. It’s a given that a lot of dumb things will be said here and there out of ignorance, fear or political agenda. We need to hear it. We need to know what they are saying and thinking so that we can fully arm ourselves against these sorts of blanket allegations.
Yes, they are slandering our community. They are making it sound like all that we do is look at the straight ones in the shower and maybe we’d rape them and all of that craziness. Because, as we all know, there aren’t any gay folks in the military right now!
Do we need to shut these people up? No, not really. Not at all. Engage them in conversation, explain things on their level.
Here’s my take on the whole thing.
How can you segregate gays in a way that makes sense? The reason, presumably, that men and women are segregated in the military is that they don’t want to put people in the same area as potential ‘mates’. So, if we put only gays with one another and only lesbians with one another what then do you think is supposed to happen? Now, as a man, I would be in a whole barracks full of other gay men. These would be, for the sake of this argument, my potential mates.
I haven’t even yet skirted on what is the true heart of the matter. When I was in the Army, my unit and I formed a bond. We worked together daily as a unit, as a family. Our bond was like a sibling-hood.
I remember once having a friend in the unit (married straight guy) approach me wanting some ‘friend sex’. I don’t know, the whole thing really irked me a bit. I mean, he was handsome and a really nice guy, certainly someone under other circumstances I might have considered dating. But then and there? He was like family to me. To have allowed it to escalate to anything beyond our unit bond would have been deplorable on my part.
So the question is, what will happen when gays are allowed to serve in the military? The answer is simple, everything will remain the same except that our LGBT folks who are serving now will not be kicked out simply because of who they love.
If it will make you feel safe, by all means, put up partitions in the showers (that should have been done a long time ago anyway) but there’s really no need at all to segregate us into different barracks. That makes as much sense as saying that a brother and a sister shouldn’t live in the same house together.
Well, that’s my two cents on the matter, love it or leave it.
Until next time, I’m OUT!