|Me (on the right) and my gay friends at Ft. Devens, Mass. 1960|
When I joined the Army in 1960, I was the only gay boy/man in the world. I didn't meet other gays until I joined the Army. Ironically, it was the Army Security Agency were we all had top secret clearances and we could get kicked out if we were found out (we weren't although a lot of our friends were).
I enjoyed my three year tour of duty in the Army. I made a lot of friends (gay and straight) and had a great job at the National Security Agency in Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, right outside Washington , D.C.
|Sal De Rosa and Ron Hampton - two of my best friends at Ft. Meade. Yes, they were both gay and put on a Broadway (what else?) type show at the Ft. Meade service club - that's my sign!|
I would have stayed in the Army or even transferred to a civilian status and continued to work for the NSA if it wasn't for the fact that I was gay and could lose my job at anytime if exposed.
|National Security Agency Headquarters, Ft. Meade, MD|
The reason I would lose my job was that homosexuals (the quaint term used back in Those Days for gays) was that I would be subject to blackmail. Of course there was never a documented case of a gay man or woman ever being blackmailed to reveal secrets but that didn't prevent this very discriminatory law to stay in place. I couldn't even transfer to a civilian status to work for the NSA because they had the same law, no homosexual could hold a top secret clearance. Of course it was a Catch-22 law because if gays were acknowledged and accepted they wouldn't be subjected to blackmail.
I am glad this country has finally done the right thing and repealed this stupid, discriminatory law. I'm still waiting for John McCain to admit he made a mistake. Where is all your courage now Senator McCain?
1945 - 2012 - my, how times have changed!