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Sunday, 17 October 2010

Some of the wrongness related to DADT

There has been all kinds of stuff around DOMA and especially DADT lately that I think needs an examine

First of all, DADT has joined DOMA in being hit by the courts – only it has been hit much harder with judge Virginia Phillips declaring it unconstitutional

And it, and I quote “orders the government and Defense Department to immediately “suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding, that may have been commenced under the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Act.””

Which is of the shiny. Oh yes it is.

Unfortunately, the Obama admin has asked for a stay on it – because they’re going to appeal. Just as they’re going to appeal the Massachusetts ruling against DOMA

There is so much wrong here that I’m going to have to break it down to cover all the wrong especially since the wrong applies in so many other areas as well which has really lead me to comment:

Separate Barracks

Yeah that spectre is actually being raised. Yes, even after previous denials. Really, separate barracks? Because ZOMG THE GAY MAY SEE ME NEKKED? As I have said before – the chances are that the gays have already seen your straight backside all nekked. Since DADT does not make the gays disappear that means they’re already there, the stealth gays are in your showers!

And separate barracks? All gays in one barracks? Do we mix gay men and lesbians? What about bisexuals and pansexuals? Do we really think that’s even remotely productive to have seperate barracks everywhere the American military is for the OPENLY gay? (Remembering that there’ll still be STEALTH GAYS! In with the straight people).

“Training”

Second big fail – they need to train the troops and the officers! If the repeal comes too quickly how can they possibly teach the American army how to react to a DADT-less reality?! And it’s a not uncommon trope – the idea that people need to be taught how not to be homophobes. People need to be trained how to “deal with” GBLTQ people.

Uh. yeah. What are the training requirements here? Don’t kick out people who come out as GBL. Simples! This is not an advanced concept that should prove difficult to grasp.

Don’t treat GBL service members like shit. If people do give them shit then slap them down. I just… boggle. What kind of advanced training do they really think is necessary here. You used to investigate and kick people out if you thought they were GBL, if they revealed they were, you kicked them out. Now… don’t. Behold, you are trained.

Now, if by traing, we’re talking “we need to stop people being homophobia arseholes” well, guess what? Not going to happen. Not in our lifetime. Homophobic arseholes exist everywhere and continue to exist everywhere and will exist everywhere for the foreseeable future. You’re not going to be able to train people – let alone an entire military – not to be homophobic arseholes. What you can do is make it clear that said arseholery is not acceptable – and if you need trained on that then, seriously, I despair because that’s pathetic.

We need to keep DADT to protect GBL troops.

Yeah, this one can die right now because it’s all kinds of fugly. This is another argument I’ve seen raised on more than one occasion in multiple circumstances – the idea that straight people are pushing us into the closet or need to push us into the closet for our own safety (related to this is the wonderful argument of straight people delaying our rights because they fear ‘backlash’)

Do you know what? I’ve faced homophobia and violent homophobia and have spent no small amount of time in doctor’s offices and hospitals because of it. And sometimes, to protect myself, I will hide and closet myself and lie and pretend. Do you know what I do not need – and no GBL person needs? We don’t need straight people in authority ORDERING us into the closet to “protect” us.

Because removing DADT won’t force all those GBL soldiers out of the closet. It will give them the OPTION of coming out without facing repercussions. The idea that, to protect GBL soldiers from homophobia, that straight people need to deny GBL people that choice is beyond ridiculous.

Do you want to know what would be more “protection”?

Removing DADT so that when a soldier is being tormented because of their sexuality they can actually talk to the powers that be and get help. Do we need to talk about the lesbian who was raped and blackmailed with having her sexuality revealed to her CO if she didn’t co-operate? Do we need to talk about the gay soldier who was sexually abused and had to sleep in kennels in dog shit under threat of having his sexuality disclosed. Do we have to talk about the gay sailor who died and his partner had to learn of it on the freaking NEWS because he was forced in the closet?

How about protecting against that?

Or how about the millions of GBLTQ kids out there hearing over and over that the very thought of having people like them in the military is such an epicly horrendous thing that Department of Defence, Justice and the President are having conniption fits about the whole thing? How about protecting against that?

Disrespecting American soldiers

I also want to know whether American troops are inferior. Or is it just the American government that thinks so?

Because Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealands – hells, a couple of dozen more – all have openly gay troops serving in the military. We also didn’t have epic conniption fits over it. Are our soldiers better? Are our soldiers more decent, more honourable, more professional, less bigoted? Is the American government saying that American soldiers just don’t have the same standards and respectability as those form other lands?

So, are American troops worse? Or do the powers that be

Sad thing is, most of these issues are not even remotely unique to DADT, which is what has had my head a-whirl. Because from the idea of protecting us by closeting us, to the utter terror of ZOMG TEH GAYS SEE ME NEKKED to the idea that you need special knowledge and training to handle us through to the ide athat something that has gone without a hitch so many other places will be ZOMG IMPOSSIBLE here – well it’s the same old same old