Today marks the ‘death’ of the military’s 18 year-old “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and, despite the whining of a few select people, this should be a proud day in our history. Since 1993, more than 10,000 people have been discharged under DADT, many of whom were in vital positions, such as Arabic and Farsi interpreters. The military has said it would allow those still in good standing to come back. That number is surprisingly large, showing a tenacity in dedication that would surprise many gay-bashers.
While many groups had repeal parties last night, today is expected to be business as usual domestically and, abroad, where it’s been September 20th for several more hours.
Despite the eager fervor the GOP had had about all of the awesome gay orgies that would be exploding in bases around the world, people actually in the military expect things to be pretty tame. It has widely been reported that only 30% of those serving in the military have said they would have a problem working alongside gays. Lucky for them, reason says that they probably still won’t know who among them is gay.
Because, of those people who choose to tell, few are likely to be telling everyone they see. Some may, and that’s fine, but the vast majority of gays are not as flamboyant as Fox would have you believe. Besides, if they’ve managed to hang around being gay without anyone noticing before, chances are they won’t change overnight.
Because there are very few circumstances in a given workday when “I got those copies you asked for, Bill…on the way to make out with my boyfriend” is going to be uttered.
Because, sadly, discrimination being wrong on paper doesn’t actually keep people from being jerks. The military also says that women shouldn’t be raped by their fellow members and we all know how well that’s going. Coming to work in a pink tutu and rainbow wig (which gays do in every other profession from Monday through Friday, obviously) would probably result in beatings.
Because coming to work in a pink tutu and rainbow wig is still against the dress code, no matter who you’re going home with or to.
Because these men and women have a job to do.
I have plenty of reasons to say mean things about the military, but today, I’m proud of them for coming around.
So, hear that they’re gonna start letting nancy boys (and Bruces and Lances and Trevors) into the military and worried you won’t know how to cope? Here are a few tips to help you navigate those uneasy first couple days.
1. You have to be tolerant past just September 20th. Your gay friend may not come out to you until the 21st. Or Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day or ever. Do not pressure them and don’t act too shocked when/if they tell you. They may do it casually (sneaky twink bastards), for instance using a same-gendered pronoun when talking about their date. When this happens, it’s best not to draw attention to it (“Whoa, whoa, whoa. HER?!”)
2. Don’t be a tattletale. Gay service men and women will tell who they want in their own time. They don’t need your help getting the word out. Furthermore, just because you can’t be mean to gays anymore doesn’t mean you should replace it with other tattling (“Private Johnson didn’t wash the coffee pot!” “Lieutenant Smash
was on the phone with his wife for six whole minutes when he was supposed to be filing paperwork to get the Officers new chairs!”).
3. Asking is rude. Contrary to popular belief, gays have feelings about on par with normal people. They are neither feelingless automatons driven only be their love of “The Cock,” nor blubbering sissies who let a mud puddle ruin their week. Having you breath down their neck and whisper hotly into their ear “Are you a Gay?” will not go over well.
4. Gays don’t melt when water is poured on them. Please do not employ this tactic, better known as “Shock and Awwwww, what a world!”
5. There is no way to tell who is gay and who isn’t just by looking at them. Sure, their hair may be nicer and they may smell better, but that’s just a meaningless correlation.
6. Don’t forget! They went through Basic, too. They know plenty of ways to lay the hurt on you that don’t involve sodomy.