Army Captain: DADT Will Not Be A Quick Fix

Capt. Adrian Bonenberger, Commander for Alpha Company, First Battalion, 87th Infantry, 10th Mountain Division, Yale graduate in English and combat veteran, discusses at some length and with an Army insider’s understanding the challenges of the culture change that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell must inevitably bring about.

There are aspects of homophobia I have never been able to comprehend at a gut level, and Capt. Bonenberger’s calm, straightforward paper does nothing to advance my understanding of why some men (and some women) are homophobes, but he does give a clear context for the problems faced by the Army as a whole. Despite Bonenberger’s excellent opinion piece, I still can’t help feeling that Obama should do what Truman did in racially integrating the military: give the order and let the process, with its inevitable conflicts, begin right now. Sooner started, sooner finished.

(H/T David Dayen of FDL.)

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  • ellroon  On Monday July 18, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Gayness is obviously like cooties and you never know exactly when you might catch it…. especially in the military working side by side with all those sweaty muscly men in the prime of their lives… *cough*

    • Steve  On Monday July 18, 2011 at 2:38 pm

      ellroon, one thing about being a straight guy in the world of classical music is that “the yuck factor” attributed to being around gays and lesbians dissipates at an early age. I suppose I was first propositioned by a guy when I was about 22 years old. I did the same thing then as I do today: I politely informed him that while I was flattered, I was not interested, because I am straight… born that way, you know. 😈

      But I suppose it’s different in the military. Maybe out there you have to prove your hetero-masculinity by loudly voicing “the yuck factor.” What a waste of effort… and of talented people, considering the consequences of the awful DADT law. To those straight people who insist they are uncomfortable showering with gays or lesbians, I can only say “you were showering with those same folks yesterday; they were gay/lesbian yesterday, and no one hit on you; what has changed today?”

      When I was a kid, living in a duplex, my upstairs neighbors were a couple of gay guys. In middle school, one of my very best friends revealed many years later that he is gay. I spent a lot of time with those people. None of that seems to have had any effect at all on my straightness. People who say “yuck” can just get over it.

      (Aside: George Takei, Sulu of classic Star Trek, is gay in real life. He has volunteered the use of his name for people who can’t bear to say “gay”: e.g., “it’s OK to be Takei!”)

  • MandT  On Monday July 18, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    No one has yet to suggest that showering with straight people is yukky. As much as I’d like to be the first, the truth is—-no big whoop—-I’ve lived in too many communes.

    • Steve  On Monday July 18, 2011 at 8:51 pm

      MandT – ROTFL! 🙂 A bit of symmetry would do some of those squeamish people a lot of good.

      I remember one commune in Austin where a friend lived back in my younger years and I occasionally spent a few days visiting; the dorm-style bathroom was for men-women-gays-straights-you-name-it, and there were no doors or curtains on any of the stalls… you get over any needless modesty pretty quickly in that kind of setting.

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