From the Journal of HivSpice
Created: Thursday, 14 October 2010 18:54
Written by Joe L. Sosa, Jr
On DADT - Thursday, October 14, 2010
Once again there has yet been another twist-n-turn in the roller-coaster ride regarding this country's 17 year old "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy regarding gays and lesbians serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, with the latest development being an emergency stay against dismantling this age-old bastion of discrimination based soley on sexual orientation. Myself, I am so sick-n-tired of America's stance over this issue, especially because for the last decade or so there has been nothing but teeter-tottering and see-sawing back-n-forth on it - first this archaic, bigoted policy is banned, then it's overturned, then banned again, then overturned again. It's not only ridiculous, but it's undeniably ludicrous, for two very important reasons. First, it has been proven over and over again that gays and lesbians serving in the U.S. military has NEVER ONCE affected the morale let alone deterred the effectiveness of our armed forces during both active and non-active duty. Look at all the countries who do allow gays and lesbians to serve in their armed forces and NOT ONCE has it compromised the effectiveness of their military forces, nor the safety of their particular countries. Second, it costs Amercan taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars per each individual case when the U.S. Justice Department performs its witchhunts of gay and lesbian military personnel. This goes beyond preposterous - when a gay or lesbian individual makes the commitment to serve and protect the United States of America with their very own lives, it is not any different from their heterosexual comrades, the only difference being their sexual orientation - and that's all.
The United States of America is very much behind the times when it comes to the issue of gays and lesbians serving in the military. Take a minute or two to review the following list of countries who already allow gays and lesbians to serve in their armed forces. I think it's not only an extremely large list but guess what? It's growing. Each year it's growing and you wanna know why? Because military leaders the world over are realizing that it doesn't matter who you fuck in bed at night - or in this particular case, during your military leaves - if you're committed to serving your country with the best of your abilities, you're gonna keep that promise no matter what. Alotta people tell us that those of us in the civilian GLBTQ sector got it made when it comes to our civil rights and our anti-discrimination policies but if you compare what we have with those of our military service personnel, the vast differences are just too overwhelming. Our guys and gals all over the world deserve the same basic rights we all do and we need to fight harder on this front to get DADT abolished for once and for all.
The following list is a tally sheet of the numerous countries who allow gays and lesbians to serve in their armed forces: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Bermuda and Uruguay. Now if this list were maybe less than 5 countries, I could see where there is much work to be done on this issue, but 36 different countries and principalities?? Now if I was one of our U.S. military commanders in charge of keeping this country safe from harm and well-protected I'd be asking myself this "Do they know something we don't know?" Yeah, they do - they know that regardless of who you sleep with, if you wanna serve and protect your native homeland, the place of your ancestral roots, you should be allowed the right to do so without being treated as a subordinate, second-class citizen. It's funny, alotta of the world claims that America is the land of the free, the birthplace of Democracy, yet any casual observer couldn't tell that by the way gay and lesbian military personnel are treated in this country.
There are a few myths and fears that need to be demystified and debunked. First, having gay and lesbian personnel in the military is not going to compromise the safety and protection of this great land of ours. Again, these people are there to do their job just like their heterosexual counterparts, nothing any less than that. They will serve this country proudly to the best of their abiliites and will hold their heads high on a job well done like any other military service personnel. Yeah, it's that basic and simple.
Second, what's this bullshit about other military personnel being uncomfortable about them being in the same shower-rooms with gay and lesbian comrades? For pete's sake, if that's the issue, take all that friggin money that is wasted on those ridiculous witch-hunts and utilize it do away with communal shower-rooms if that's how irrational our military leaders are gonna be. My God, you'd think our armed forces were being governed by a bunch of hoodlums with 8 year-old mentalities. The next part of this argument of our military leaders is that they dont want the gay and lesbian personnel checking out the heterosexual personnel and having sexual thoughts about them. Excuse me, are we talking about the alleged "strongest military machine on this planet" or an adult version of Romper-Room?? So it's okay for heterosexual military personnel to have sexual thoughts about their fellow personnel, even rape and murder them, but it's wrong for gay or lesbian military personnel to think "Hey, nice package baby.." or "Hey, nice beaver Sister.." - now I'll be the one to ask - am I missing something here? Trust me, sexual thoughts are a part of human nature and when any gay or lesbian military personnel out there is involved with someone, they are gonna be thinking about their loved ones back home just as their heterosexual counterparts would do. Once again, I repeat - sexual orientation has nothing to do with how well your comrade is gonna cover your ass on the battlefield, nor who you do or dont wnat to shower in front of. Really, some of the U.S. millitary's tired rhetoric on these issues goes way beyond prepubescent gibberish.
Third, some U.S. military leaders have implied that they fear that gay and lesbian military personnel may fall apart mentally and fail their country in the line of duty because of their sexual orientation. Really? Mind explaining that one to me, please? The mental stresses/pressures and risks of losing ones life on the battlefield are no greater for one person than another. Gay and lesbian military personnel are trained in their fields the same exact way as their heterosexual counterparts and if they indeed were to bend under pressure in any way, shape or form, it would be no different than their heterosexual comrades, for again, who you sleep with has nothing to do with how well you will perform your duties anymore than the same warped rationale that implies civilian workers job performance is affected by who they sleep with. This all is nothing butta bunch of irrational and unfounded double-standards which should've been debunked decades ago. Bottom line is this - it's not who you are, but how well you perform your duties that dicates on whatta good soldier you will be - nothing more, nothing less.
Do you know what I think the leaders of the U.S. Military and U.S. Justice Department are most afraid of? I think they are running scared (like cowards) over this gays and lesbians in the military issue because it scares the living fuck out of them that not only America, but the rest of the countries who have the same discrimination policies in effect in their military sectors, will realize that once they see us gays and lesbians in a full, outward view, they will realize that we are no different from them. And that literally scares the hell out of them. The old addage that what people fear the most they tend to eventually hate and then want to destroy proves true, even in this scenario. They don't wanna see a U.S. Navy sailor being embraced and kissed by the man he loves once his ship arrives back-in-port following a 6 to 12 month tour-of-duty. They dont wanna see an Army or Air Force commander being greeted by her partner of 20+ years and their 3 teenage children when she gets to leave base to spend a long-deserved furlough with the only family she's ever known. Most of all, they don't wanna see a group of U.S. Marines being greeted by their drag-queen boyfriends once they come back from those shores of Tripoli. But, why? Didnt these fine, brave, exemplary men and women equally bust their asses and put their lives on the line like their heterosexual counterparts? Don't they deserve the same respect and same freedoms as all other U.S. military personnel deserve? The bottom line is this - the U.S. military forces do not want to acknowledge nor accept the fact there are gay and lesbian individuals who serve this country's armed forces, who serve it above and beyond the call of duty, and just like the civilian sector of this country they too do not want to acknowledge and accept any members of the GLBTQ community as part of this country, let alone the world at large. But there is one thing both America's military machines and its civilian population continue to underestimate - the GLBTQ community's will and deterimation to fight for and secure its basic civil rights. And we will never stop.
I don't think there's any magic bullet answer or process to put this issue to rest for once and for all. True, though there is so much more to do, so much more to accomplish when it comes to acquiring our basic rights in the civilian sector, when I look at what's going on in the U.S. armed forces, damn, we still have great battles ahead of us. We need to continue to fight for our rights in both sectors, as well as show our military service members that we'll be there for them until this dreadful "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy finally becomes the outlawed piece of antique, inhumane legislature it's always been since day one of it's conception. It's about people. We're all the same when it comes to wanting to make a difference in our own lives as well as in the lives of those around us, regardless if one is an Air Force fighter pilot or a civilian. People do not need to be evaluated or judged based on their sexual activities, that area of their lives has nothing to do with what they can offer the world, whether serving in our armed forces or not. Thank you for reading.
About HIV Spice:
A gay male writer who tested Hiv+ in August, 1989. Who contracted the disease from his partner, who died in October, 1989. In addition, He is also a cancer survivor and has been cancer-free since May, 1999. Currently resides in the Boston, MA area.
The original intention of this journal was to chronicle his personal journey from being a closeted Hiv+ individual to becoming an openly HIv+ individual. However, his direction on this has changed somewhat because as he started writing blog entries and began to write about other topics other than his Hiv+ status. He soon realized that there is much more to him than just being Hiv+, both as a writer and an individual. Therefore, he shall continue to do what he have been doing ever since that realization - writing about topics and events that have struck an inner chord within him.
He choose to remain anonymous for a couple of reasons. First, due to other various circumstances currently in his life, it is more logical for him to remain behind the mask of HivSpice. Should he decide to change this, he will definitely inform his readers beforehand. Second, he honestly does not believe that the world's perception of him as both a writer and an individual will change one iota once his true identity is revealed. And in that same vein of thought, look at all the other extraordinary Hiv/AIDS activists that are already openly out there on the battlefront. They are his strong brothers and sisters and he is behind them 100% but his identity has no bearing as a measuring gauge of the things they have accomplished, nor the things they will accomplish.
As he has mentioned in more than one entry, we all make a difference, we all make a contribution, no matter how small or how large, in our own special way. Aside from being united with others in the battle as well as the education regarding this horrible disease, it is my sincere hope that by reading some of these blog entries perhaps it will somehow make a difference in someone else's life. Thank you for reading.
And remember, everyone counts.
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