Thursday, June 21, 2007

Gays in Uniform? The Horror!

A new exhibit at San Francisco's GLBT Historical Society contains, among other things, the dress uniform, medals and rusty footlocker of Leonard Matlovich.

Matlovich, who died in 1989 after serving three tours in Vietnam, chose for his epitaph, "When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one."

Matlovich and other gay individuals who served with honor and distinction in America's military are being honored the GLBT Historical Society.

And it's long overdue. I hope to see the exhibit this fall when I go to San Francisco on vacation and pay my respects to those men and women who chose to hide their true selves so they could serve proudly in the armed forces.

Now all we need to do is convince the assholes at the top of the heap that we have always had gay men and women in the military, and it didn't hurt any of us -- or "unit cohesion", the latest buzzword in the Jim Crow-like approach to keeping our gay brothers and sisters in the closet.

And to discharge that dozen or more speakers of Arabic -- when we are bogged down in an Arab country -- simply because they happen to be gay is unconscionable. It is, in fact, mind boggling.

This new exhibit is a step in the right direction, bringing focus to the hidden and closeted gays who chose to serve their country and were trashed for their efforts.