By: Russ Friend
I looked at Jeff, wearing his pretty blue dress, and said, “Let me be blunt; I don’t care if a gay couple holds hands, hugs or kisses in public. What does their lifestyle have to do with me? It’s not going to offend me, nor as Americans should they have fewer civil rights than a straight couple. Allowing gays to openly serve in the military is a great idea, but it’s a change in culture. Culture shifts take time. Does this make sense to you, or are you going to go all drama queen on me?”
Jeff looked at me in anger. His lips pouted, and with clenched fists he said, “Why do you have a problem with gay people? Anything we do would be considered offensive to you.”
At this point, I knew there would be no reasoning with Queen Victoria.
“Fine,” I said. “It’s good to know that I’m in the presence of royalty, dear Queen. Yes, I expect boot camps to be segregated, with all of the gay recruits housed in a converted dance club. Every new gay service member will, from the first day of service, get a special military pin; the Pride Pin. It will contain the colors of the pride flag, with an image of a tough, yet sensitive, eagle set on top. For the Marines, a.k.a. the leathernecks, their eagle will wear black leather and have some biker boots, as well as a pierced beak. Of course the gay members will have a spotless barracks, and their queer eyes will really capture the spirit of the military with a flair that is unmatched anywhere.”
Changes in culture take time. Our own rich history confirms this. Iraq and Afghanistan are confirming this. There will still be hate crimes in the military, just as there is still opposition to gay rights in the public arena. Look at what’s happening in New York, and what happened to California in 2008. Some view homosexuality as a sin against God, and all the feel-good rhetoric in the world isn’t going to shake someone’s core beliefs.
Only education and time can do that.