Monday, September 23, 2013

I Don't Pick These Battles, They Pick Me

Me (left) with my (straight) buddies Bill Allen and Dick Egan at Ft. Devens, Mass. 1960

Last year a former member of the Army Security Agency started a group on his Facebook account for former members of the Army Security Agency.  When I was in the Army from 1960 to 1963, I was in the Army Security Agency. I went to school at Ft. Devens, Massachusetts for six months after completing basic training at Ft. Dix, New Jersey.  After my schooling I served out the remainder of my tour of duty at the National Security Agency in Ft. George G. Meade, Maryland.  So, when this former ASA member started a group I joined.  I thought it would be interesting to share memories and photos of that time long ago.  And of course, since I am gay I thought it would be interesting to share memories with other former members of this group who were also gay.  And of course I know they were there because before I went into the Army I did not know ONE gay person.  It wasn't until I went in the Army that I met other gay men. 

Me at Ft. Meade, 1962 (yes, that is a cigarette in my mouth)
Well, long story short, I only met one gay man in that group and he wasn't very nice.  I had to unfriend him on Facebook.  I stayed in the group but didn't have much in common with them because most of them were in the Army Security Agency much later than me and served in Viet Nam.  Again, I was/am the oldest dude in the group.  But I stayed in the group because occasionally someone posted interesting photos of Ft. Devens.

I stayed in the group in spite of one fairly constant strain I saw in the discussions other than their Viet Nam experiences, which I couldn't relate to.  Almost to a person all of these guys are very conservative and far right wing.  At times I was tempted to respond to their anti-Obama rants and pro-right wing nut rants but let it go.  But this past Sunday I saw a rant by one notorious poster called Jon Swayze.  He "broke the news" that Hilary Clinton WAS GAY and that's why we shouldn't vote for her.  You know, the "gay agenda" (which I still don't have my copy) and all that crap.  Well, I really wasn't in the mood to let this crap go by so I responded with my own comment knowing full well that I would be stepping into a hornet's nest.  And sure enough, I did.  

OMG! Hillary is a lesbian! Batten the hatches!

First thing I get is "I couldn't care less what your sexual preference is but this isn't the site for stating it." Well, of course I agree that this wasn't the site for stating my sexual preference but since Mr. Swayze was posting his homophobic rant I felt I needed to respond.  Whenever I hear homophobic bile I respond by throwing it right back in their face.  Of course I make sure I'm in a safe place when I do this because you know how some of these homophobes are when they feel threatened....they kill people.  Yes folks, they kill people.  They attack and beat and kill.  I know, I've been physically attacked for simply declaring that I am gay.  I have been chased down a street by a gang of drunken youths wielding baseball bats simply because I declared myself gay.  So I am very careful these days when I confront homophobic hate.  For all the progress we've made this world and this country is still a dangerous place for openly declared gay men....and women.

Once the comments started coming in responding to my comment, several of them said "I could care less who you marry."  Well, how nice and insulting.  Again, I throw this hateful bile right back in their face.  I responded back "I could care LESS who you marry too.  However, I DO care who I marry.  How's that feel?"  I haven't seen a response to that one yet.

Below is a taste of what is going on in my little Facebook group "discussion" last night and today. I guess I really stirred up a homophobic hornet's nest.  

Apparently a couple of "the guys" are uncomfortable with me being in the group and are leaving.  BYE!  As for me, I'm staying.  Sometimes things need to be shaken up.  

Yes folks, as much progress as we've made in this country at this time for equal rights for LGBT citizens (not "special" as the right wingers like to call it) we still have a long way to go.  

Here is one thing that has always puzzled me.  What is it exactly that people like Jon Swayze are SO AFRAID OF?  Perhaps it is something deep within them that they are afraid to recognize.  

A followup on Facebook from the group leader:


Anonymous said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this Ron! Way to stand up! It's hard to listen to all of the homophobic rhetoric! I have heard it my whole life. I grew up in rural south
Alabama, now talk about homophobic....
I'm 45 but I came out to a couple of girl friends when I was 21. But for so long I stayed in the closet. Those girls are still some of my best friends, thank god for them. They helped me through some tough times! Finally when Daniel came along he convinced me to be open and be proud of who I am. I do love that man!!!
I only hope I can continue to have a tenth of courage that you have!!
Your friend,

Ron said...


Thank you for your comment. The battle is never over. I will fight this until my dying day. I am glad that you're proud of who you are and have Daniel to love and return your love. That is the most important thing in life I believe.


Greg said...

No one seemed to have an issue with J.S. spewing about Hillary Clinton, but the moment you posted a response, that's when they say the group's about Ft. Devens? I'm glad you didn't back down.

anne marie in philly said...

Jon Swayze lives in his mother's basement, wears a tin foil hat, and needs a magnifying glass to find his "manhood". what a pathetic POS h8er.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what Greg said...drives me crazy. And good for you for NOT backing down.

Peace <3

Ron said...

Exactly my point Greg. The "Hillary is a Homosexual" lie was okay but once I took issue all of a sudden the responses are "This isn't about Ft. Devens" and "I couldn't care less who you marry, et al" and the other expected responses. Same old, same old except that I threw it right back in their faces.


Ron said...

Anne Marie,

You know, you are EXACTLY right. This guy has his head so far up his ass he can't tell night from day.


Ron said...


It always turns into an "issue" when a gay man responds back. We're expected to back down and go back in the closet. The homophobes are always thrown off their hate game when one of us throws it right back in their face.


Jack said...


Out of the military for fifty years but there is always a battle to fight. There's a reason you are here and not in the after life, there is important work for you to do. That person was probably the same bully on the playground when he was in school and obviously has not lost the mentality. Keep up the fight, it is never in vain.


Ron said...

You are exactly right Jack. This is the type of bully I always confronted in high school and in the Army. They always back down because they're cowards.


Jon said...

First of all, I admire you for being honest and straightforward (Straight?? No pun intended) and for not backing down when attacked by bullies. As for the bullies - - some people never grow up.

I very seldom write about politics or religion in my blog because it inevitably stirs up a hornets nest. Yea, sure, I occasionally spew an anti-Obama rant - - which always makes people think I'm a conservative. In truth, I'm neither liberal nor conservative. I've never voted in my entire life and I consider all politicians varying degrees of scum.

It's amusing to see how quickly everyone got bent out of shape from your comments - - but it's also scary to see how much hate homophobes have (that's nothing new, of course). I've always maintained that people who hate gays undoubtedly have a LOT of self-doubt and secrets about their own sexuality. They are, in fact, hating themselves.

One of those people (Roger) said that gays make up less than 3% of the population. I don't know where the heck he got his numbers, but he's WAY off. To say the very least.

Incidentally, I've heard that Hillary is going to finally admit her bisexuality in her upcoming autobiography. She packs a mean pair of balls.....

Ron said...


I believe everyone is entitled to their views and to express them. However, I do take issue when they casually spew out homophobic bile. My first reaction is always to throw it back in their face. And of course I get the usual response; quotes from the Bible, I'm going to Hell, gays have an agenda to turn their kids gay, et al. I know it is useless to argue with people like Swayze because they have their head so far up their ass they can't see straight (literally) and yes, they almost always have doubts about their own sexuality that's why they feel the need to strike out. Swayze posted something about Hillary coming out about her bisexuality. I say "so what?" What does that have to do with the price of potatoes? The old anti-gay rant. Especially coming from a former member of the ASA which was notorious for witch hunts of gays. Tell me about it, I endured three years of it. Fortunately for me I was so backwards sexually I never did anything and thus wasn't "caught". However, many of my friends were and had their lives ruined because they were kicked out of the Army with a Section 8 (undesirable) simply because they were gay or just accused of being gay. When I was in you were guilty until you proved you were straight. Not an easy thing to do. Two guys I was stationed with even committed suicide. They found them naked in their car, with the tail pipe plugged up with cloth. Those were the days. Still, some of the Old Timers cling to those ways thinking it is all right to casually spew out their venomous homophobic bile. As I said, I throw it right back at them. They can't stand it.


Ur-spo said...

Dear me; this all sounds like a headache not necessary. Phooey to it all.

Randy in NEB said...

Ron You sure stur'd up the puddin' as a friend of mine used to say. I've been known to do that too. I think you found out if you didn't know already, you can always tell a homophobe but you can't tell them much. Randy.

pat888 said...


You think and express yourself clearly. I don't think anyone reading your comments should misunderstand the principles you are pointing out and standing by. Politics and religion always raise the temperature.


Ron said...

Thank you Pat. You understand me so well. You're right, politics and religion always "raise the temperature." I try to avoid those discussions because I am never able to change anyone's views. However, when I am attacked or disparaged being who I am (gay), I will throw it right back in the attacker's face. That's just the way I operate.


Ron said...

You're right Randy, you can always tell a homophobe. Funny thing, most of them don't think they are. The come down with the "hate the sin, love the sinner" BS and "while I don't approve of the lifestyle" line - who asked them if I needed their approval. Might judgmental of them wouldn't you say? The one line that gets me now is the "I couldn't care less who you marry." Well guess what? I couldn't care less who they marry either but when I tell them that they get all huffy and put out. Then I add "How do you like that?" It's always a different reaction them you turn the tables on them and give them the same pompous, judgmental, condescending treatment. They don't like it.


Ron said...

Dr. Spo,

I don't walk away from fights unless I'm outnumbered. I'll fight the bastards any chance I get. They're don't going to discount me as a human being with their homophobia. What puzzles me is what is it exactly they're so afraid of? Sometimes I think they're afraid of what lies deep within them.


Caregiver Update

  Bill with his hospice nurse last week Regular followers of this blog have no doubt noticed that I haven't been posting on a regular ba...