"Gay Orgies" Stereotyping
The letters column in the Stars & Stripes military newspaper has been crackling with letters in the past few days reacting to a recent reader's note opposing open gays in the armed forces, for many reasons, including the fear that gays in the military would equal "[o]rgies on demand."
The most intellectually and and emotionally moving letters was from a lesbian, forcefully arguing for the US military to accept openly gay soldiers. This appeared in today's edition of the Stars & Stripes:
Normally I do not justify outlandish allegations with a response, but I can not remain silent on this issue any longer.
I am a Navy veteran and served a large portion of my time out to sea. I am also a homosexual. I served my time in the armed forces as a known lesbian and I was not alone. There were several known homosexuals onboard. My command and co-workers were aware of my orientation, and I discussed my relationships with my shipmates as they shared information about their families. When you are segregated months at a time with the same handful of people at sea, you form a cohesiveness that is unquestionable. Gay and straight, my friends and shipmates were my family. I have fond memories of the investment I made in my country.
I have had it with reading letters and columns from individuals claiming that if a gay servicemember is allowed to serve openly, it would be detrimental to good order and discipline, and that homosexuals are deviant in nature and geared only to sexual satisfaction.
With all due respect to the retired lieutenant commander who wrote in his Aug. 6 letter "Against gays in military" that there would be "[o]rgies on demand," I was certainly never a part of, invited to or aware of any orgies, forced sexual situations or "preying on friends and foes."
I did my job, I served my country, I received an honorable discharge and I did it as a lesbian ...
Fort Monmouth, New Jersey
Letters such as this one go far in educating both veterans and currently active members of the military who oppose lifting the the ban on open homosexuals. Thank you, Ms. Crutchfield, for serving the nation, and the gay community, with valor and pride.