|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)|
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: