Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt- Gay Servicemember Died For His Country

A very powerful video about LGBT persons being able to do whatever thay’d like.

“He wanted to go, so that someone with kids and a family
wouldn’t have to.”

It Will Not Be The Same
A Poem For Andrew Wilfahrt

It will not be the same for us as for other lovers.

There’ll be no babe born when you’re nine months absent,
Six of them maybe spent under cold clay.

Nor will I share your picture with the men.
They’ll say, “This is Mary.
And young Tom.”
We’ll smile and say he’s the image of his dad.
“This is my Dora. We’ll be wed, soon as I’m home.”
We’ll toast them with watery tea, trying not to show
We don’t believe he’ll ever get back.
They’ll never hear,
“This is my Freddie. Isn’t he a peach?”

And yet our blood is just as red
And it’ll flow just as freely when the bullets fly

We’ll give our lives the same
For our country
For our families
For the sake of those who condemn us and want us dead
We’ll die to keep them safe,
Not to satisfy a god they’ve made in their own image.

It will not be the same for us as for other lovers.
But you are no less a man because of me
And I am not diminished because of you.

~Charlie Cochrane

Update: More from Cpl Wilfahrt’s father here.

2010- When Official Republican Persecution and Bigotry Went Unchecked

For me, 2010 is/was about Republican political shaming of The Gays. The Montana GOP approved a platform which included this blatant piece of ignorance and bigotry:

We support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal.

And, despite the fuss I made, that others made,  the discomfort from one Montana Republican leader (no leader of the Democrats said a word), the platform plank is still there. No one really paid much attention. Despite my letters to elected officials, to the Log Cabin Republicans, to advocacy groups, no one really paid much attention. fact, I only got one lukewarm response- from GLAAD. The issue got mentioned a few times- including once by Rachel Maddow, then it seems, was forgotten.

It’s sad. It’s even more sad when you figure the Texas GOP into the equation. They, too have a “Jail The Gays” plank.

Why can’t we get it together?

I tried to make the case that “Montana Matters“- a few nibbles, a few more voices added to the chorus, but still, nothing changed. I’m not sure I should be surprised, but it doesn’t keep me from being disappointed. I want us to be better than that. I want the LGBT community to speak out against this with one voice. I want Republican allies and Log Cabin Republicans to take a stand. I want straight allies and parents of LGBT children to speak up. I want Democrats to see this for what it is: blatant persecution and bigotry- and do something about it. I want to live in a world- or at least a state, where ugliness and hate don’t win- not even one round.

I know. As my mother says “..and people in hell want ice water.”

But they won this one. Again, I remind you, nothing changed. That plank is still there. In both states. Despite the amazing victories we’ve had this year, despite the DADT repeal, despite the increased awareness of anti-LGBT bullying, despite the increased polling numbers for same-sex marriage, despite the popularity of Glee- institutionalized homophobia is alive and well.

They got away with it. 

My resolution for 2011 is this: I will work to bring liberty and justice for all- even in the so-called “flyover” states. Because this phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance isn’t true yet. Because the erosion of our humanity is happening right in front of our noses- and I find it troubling, offensive, perverse and distinctively Un-American.

Don’t you?

Political cartoon of the day

Lettin’ in “the gays”

The ban on allowing only certain people to serve without secrecy and shame in the United States Military has ended, giving all LGB (not T?) persons another venue in which to pursue their chosen career path with a semblance of integrity.

I have always had mixed feelings about the ban. On the one hand, having worked with a number of U.S. veterans, I think military culture often has a negative impact on individuals, especially when it comes to relating to civilian life. Life in the barracks or on active duty can be far removed from the reality of most Americans’ day-to-day lives. Some of my military friends say that is how it needs to be in order to combat the enemy. I’m not so sure. I do know that the culture offers very little support for soldiers re-entering civilian life, resuming relationships and entering the workforce. It’s even worse for those with PTSD.

On the other hand, I think everyone has the right to choose their own path to empowering themselves as human beings- sometimes this is the only (or at least glaring) option for those without other resources to gain a shot at higher education or skill training. So if someone wants to serve, being able to do so without shame or fear of discovery- at least officially, can only make the military better, and camaraderie more honest. And when official shaming ends, we move closer to full acceptance and integration into society- and further away from internalized homophobia and humiliation.

All good things.

And for those who think the president hasn’t done enough: I believe he and his administration are doing as much as they can- and carefully enough that the changes they do make will stand. Across the board, from Health and Human Services to the Justice Department to the FDA, changes that reflect good science and social practice are being carefully integrated into public policy- as are the diversity of the personnel involved (which include a large number of LGBT persons). That isn’t often remembered because it’s not sexy, sensational or scintillating. But it’s totally important to our well-being as a diversity-accepting country. It’s the Obama Long Game. And I’m a fan.

They haven’t lost me, because I know this would have never happened under President McCain.