Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gay Vet's New P.R. Ploy: Hospitalization;
Who 'Owns the Movement'?

With the failure of Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal in the news, and a new effort underway in Congress for a stand-alone bill, I have wondered where in the world is the gay veteran martyr Dan Choi (pictured). He just can't live without mega-doses of attention, especially when repeal in getting air-time and ink.

I give the man his due in capturing the media's gaze and thrusting himself into the glare of the camera lights, always ready for his close-up. And I know to stay alive to not stand in Dan's way when a camera is near, or I risk serious harm.

If I'm not mistaken, this year Dan has crucified himself on the White House fence three times, gone on a hunger strike, tried to reenlist on-camera at the Times Square armed forces recruitment office, accepted every offer to speak for a fee or appear on TV, zapped Harry Reid and given up a piece of jewelry, joined the celebrity advisory board of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and lots of other stunts and actions I'm forgetting at the moment.

How has Dan injected himself back into the repeal discussion, on the eve of a possible stand-alone House vote? He's announced his hospitalization for mental distress and traumatic experiences.

In keeping with his quest for martyrdom, he released an explanation for his mental condition that opened thus:

I did not initially want to publicize this but I now realize it is critical for our community to know several things [...]

Oh, how he forced himself to tell a supposed truth about the gay community that he thinks few have thought of before - we have mental health issues up the wazoo to deal with.

Wishing Dan the best in his medical recovery, and I hope for his health and sanity, that he not watch any TV, cruise the web, receive or send texts about DADT.

In other news about Dan, he gave an "exclusive" interview to the New Era News site last week, and stereotyped all gay folks 30-and-above into one category that he dismisses:

“No revolution for social justice ever went backwards,” he said. “As young people, you can say to those over 30, yeah, you might have the Rolodex, but I own this movement.”

Gee, someone should tell this ego-maniac that lots of gay seniors would like to share the movement's "ownership" and build bridges across generational divides, and that plenty of 30-plus LGBT persons performed important community activism, and still do.

A day after that interview appeared, Dan tweeted the following, in case there was any doubt about who he thinks has purchased the movement:

We, under 30, own this movement. @NewEraColorado

For another critical view of Dan's hospitalization, check out this blog post by gay writer Lyndon Evans, who addresses his concerns to Dan:

My question is, in spite of your reasoning, if you “didn’t want to publicize this” then why are you? The real kicker for me is when Choi also writes in his “open letter” the following, "If you could share the info and sentiment I’d be most grateful."

My guess is his speaking engagement rate will now go up and there will be yet another book in the future .. “How Being A DADT Activist Took Its Toll On Me”.

Sorry Dan-O, no sympathy from this writer for a publicity hound such as yourself. If you really mean what you said above you would have gone in, got some help and then, perhaps discuss why you went into the hospital.

Yeah, but then he would not have been able to parachute into the latest round of maneuvers on Capital Hill to repeal DADT and generated more attention for himself.


Paul Barwick said...


While I agree with you on many issues, your take on Dan Choi isn't one of them. Perhaps it is because I too am a combat veteran. Perhaps it is just the striking contrast between the soldier chaining himself to the White House fence and the head of this nation's largest GLBT rights organization preening himself before the mirror in his designer suits while his office is on lockdown, fearing a sit in by (gasp) gay activists.

I know which one I would rather follow.

Unknown said...

Hello? Mr. Petrelis where are you? Did Hillary Rosen or Joe Solomonese hack the Petrelis files?

He is a young doofus gay boy who has done more in his short time out than you Ms. Hillary or Master Joe have EVER done. So what...he has flaws. Get over it.

The Freak Geek

AndrewW said...

Dan Choi is about Dan Choi and his need for attention AT ALL COSTS.

He should have been committed when he tried to commit suicide by starvation.

This GetEQUAL type of carnival show doesn't help our movement because it doesn't change any minds or build any support - it just makes people laugh at us. Or, with this latest stunt - cry.