Soldiers on asking and telling

Via Nick Mamatas, whom I’ve mentioned a few times this week in discussing Amazon and POD, I found this pamphlet on the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy (warning: opens a .pdf in a new tab), featuring multiple soldiers talking about their experiences being gay in the military.

I think it’s well worth reading. It’s affiliated with the Servicemember’s Legal Defense Network (SLDN), which apparently exists, at least partially, to “Lift the Ban.”

When I was in college, I took a sociology class for which I had to maintain a journal reflecting on the class’ readings, many of which had to do with equality; my thesis, for my journal, ultimately became that I didn’t care about equality–I simply wanted the best qualified, most able person performing every job. The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy had just become a hot topic back then, and my position during the class was simply that I didn’t care about anything besides function. Male, female, gay, straight, black, white, whatever–my ideal is that the people best able to perform any particular job do so.

I still feel that way. I think it’s why I’m against the Orange prize, and also, more important, why I support Barack Obama for the presidency–not because he’s black, or because it would break the status quo, but rather because, quite simply, I think he is far and away the most able candidate to do the job. It has little to do with who he is or whom he loves and everything to do with what I believe he can do.


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