July 15, 2010

I took the Don't Ask, Don't Tell survey...

Like many of you, I look at the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT), the US military prohibition on gay people serving, as a major step forward in this civil rights movement.

While I am not in the military, have never considered joining the military except a passing fancy due to my obsessive love of Private Benjamin, and am not even American, this is a huge deal.

Candidate Obama promised to repeal this hateful law. President Obama has dragged his ass living up to this promise, and now the wheels are finally turning and the government is starting the slowest repeal of any law ever.

Part of the process is a $5 million survey of 400,000 existing service members about how they feel about gay people. Why they are taking a survey? Is this the People's Choice Awards? Nobody took a survey when blacks or when women started to serve. Why is this different? How would President Obama feel if the poll was about black Americans being integrated? Or Jewish Americans? Or Chinese Americans?

Lots of people are talking about this survey. A Washington Post online survey found 70% of readers find the survey to be out of line. According to the military, the survey was supposed to be confidential, which of course means you can find it anywhere online.

Firstly, As a gay man I am totally offended by the idea of this survey. Secondly, I have read and taken the survey, and it's lame. And kind of boring.

What are the questions? Stuff about how having a gay peer would impact your morale and your effectiveness, whether you would socialize with your gay peers, and how you feel about sharing a room or shower with gay soldiers.

According to lots of internet buzz, the military is apparently considering separate housing and showers for gay soldiers. Really? A segregationist army? Hasn't the country tried that before? And --- irony alert --- we are considering this under a black president? That is just fucked up.

Lots of armed forces, including here in Canada, have gays serving openly with no issue. Catch up, people!



the military establishment is homophobic and i guess the survey is to see if the personnel is as homophobic as the establishment. you say we have military here serving openly. let's not fool ourselves here. how opened are they about it with their peers and what is their daily lives like? perfectly homophobia free? they still have a long way to go to be fine with this. the military is a world in itself, and it generally attracts a certain kind of personality,
the kind that has a certain perception of itself that doesn't include homosexuality, which many still see as a flaw. some people may find this idea offensive, but one has to show patience. not so many ago, they wouldn't even acknowledge having gays in the army. it just couldn't be. they then admitted they had some and discharged them pronto. now, they're considering integrating them. it's a step-up. they still need to work out the modalities. and eventually, it will become a non-issue, but it all takes time. this won't be solved overnight. passing a law will not change the mentality. on the contrary, it might reinforce it.
i can hardly believe i'm sounding like the advocate for patience. was never a big trait of mine. but we are dealing with an institution used to making its own rules. as far as saying OBAMA has been dragguing his ass, let's be honest here: since he became president, he's been busy!! the financial crisis, the oil spill, etc... people saw him as the next messiah, but he's just a man. he doesn't do miracles, he tackles problems. period. and there's been plenty of those.
alright, i'll shut up now!!

Dazee Dreamer said...

oh for the love of god. what the hell are they thinking. different housing and showers. good god almighty. are they so stupid to not realize that just because you are gay, that every guy out there doesn't turn you on. I'm hetero, but not every guy out there turns me on either. you are either attracted or freaking not. jesus

Lauren said...

I feel wrong for laughing, but seriously... how can you not? It's so absolutely ridiculous that it seems more joke worthy than it is worthy of being reality. A survey? Really? Segregating? I don't understand US politics. Are they trying to get people up in arms about all the money being spent researching opening up the military so the country will say "HAIL NO!"? That's my conspiracy for the day. Probably true.

Penny Lane said...

This is just unreal. Segregation? Fuck. Yes because as everyone knows gays have absolutely no control over their sexual impulses and frequently commit sex crimes against any man who tickles their fancy. Oh wait, I think I'm confused. That's more along the lines of something heterosexual men are regularly convicted of, is it not? Hm. Interesting.

Brahm (alfred lives here) said...

Totally crazy, huh?

Today Argentina passed same-sex marriage laws, so that evolution is moving forward, and the USA is tip-toeing around how to let gays serve openly? Just say this is the way it is, and this is the right thing, and make it happen!

Jason, as himself said...

I am getting closer and closer to moving to Canada. Except I hate being cold!

Why don't we survey all gays and see what we all think of straight people? And then use that info to make a major political decision.

vanita said...

When there's cutbacks in school funding and people out of work and nothing but shitty expensive medical insurance, you can count on the US of A to waste money on a stupid survey like this.

marymac said...

OOH!OOH! Do they need someone to share a room with gay soldiers?! I am totally IN, dude!
p.s. you are an honorary American, which is way better than being an ACTUAL American...and not just because you have all the maple syrup...

JenniferfromLaJolla said...

I don't get it. I really don't. I am proud to be American, grateful that I was born in the United States--truly. This makes me sick though. And embarrassed. Thankfully, my daughter's generation won't put up with this shit. So, while my generation might not move things along, hers will. And by that time the haters will be too old to do a damn thing about it. I am ticked that President Obama is turning out to be such a wimp.

Meri said...

I must have missed this "survey" info in my attempt to avoid as much news as possible, though sometimes I tune into Rachel Maddow or Chris Matthews. Civil rights shouldn't depend on popular opinion -- whether it's in relation to job protection, marriage options, or freedom of expression. Rights are rights, equal opportunity -- or they should be.

Vancouver Isle Doug said...

Well, one more reason to make me glad I moved to Canada. We've been out of the US for almost three years now and the news from down there just seems to be getting stranger every day. WHAT are they thinking?? Oh wait, they are not thinking! Crikeys!

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