I’m super happy to introduce today’s special guest author / illustrator! Premee is not only exceptionally talented, but also living proof that not everyone living in Calgary is necessarily a gun-toting, cowboy hat-wearing, cattle-prodding, grit-eating, hay-growing, gay-hoeing, well, you get the idea…
The US military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy has always been a tough one for gay activists. The proposed changes may make it a little easier to be a uniformed gay, inasmuch as an anonymous outing is no longer cause for immediate discharge (there’s an investigation now!), but the fact remains that the military culture is generally homophobic and feels that homophobia is a valid excuse to exclude, ostracize, threaten, and whine about undue exposure to gay folks. “But it’ll ruin unit cohesion!” “I’m scared I’ll be poked awake one morning!” “I can’t focus on my job with all that gay around!” “No man’s foxhole is safe!”
The rational response, of course, would be education and desegregation; unfortunately, it looks like the official response is ghettoization.
Marine Commandant General J. Conway has been interviewed saying “I would not ask our Marines to live with someone that’s homosexual if we can possibly avoid it,” and has gone on to outline his plans to completely segregate gay from straight troops. This uninformed and frankly nasty attitude promotes a culture of otherness and, so far from progressing gay troops from inferiors to equals, will probably make them targets by setting them apart from the rest of their units.
On the other hand, since single housing is now proposed for those gay servicemen, it might actually end up being a little nicer than life in the closet!