Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Picture Speaks ...


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Another guest post by Dana


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Being that I am somewhat of an information junky, one of the things I really enjoy is my CNN news feed. Often times there are little bits of news that I never hear or read anywhere else. Yesterday I came across THIS article.

Jeff Sheng has spent the last two years on his "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" exhibit - photographic stories of the gay and bisexual men and women who serve in the U.S. military. And because his subjects are forced to keep their sexual orientations under wraps in order to serve, Sheng's photos are portraits without faces.

Think about that for a moment. The men and women who serve this country - who lay their own lives on the line to protect our rights - must hide their faces.
















There was a time, not too long ago, when I questioned the wisdom of repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," but seeing Sheng's photography, thinking about what it means, and remembering my own struggles with my sexuality while serving in the military, I cannot justify anything other than a repeal.

I look at these photos and know that these men and women deserve better than what we've given them.

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11 comments:

Lynette said...

A photo says 1,000 words....and this time the word is repeated over and over again.

Repeal!

Grant said...

I think it's okay to treat the gays differently than other soldiers because it's well known that the enemy uses "hetero only" bullets and bombs so they're not really risking anything. Like how it's okay my town has two plaques in the courthouse for WWII vets, one for the black soldiers and one for everyone else, because the Nazis were too much the elitists to shoot black people which is why none of them died in the war. (/ end sarcasm)

It's been about twenty years since I was in the infantry, supposedly the most unenlightened and redneck of all the branches of service, and instead of being met with violence the only actions I saw taken against suspected gays were that some other soldiers whispered rude comments behind their backs. Then ten years later while out to dinner with an enlightened group of college students, a guy ordered a glass of chardonnay and they reacted in the same manner. If there ever was any truth to the whole "the military is filled with people less enlightened than the rest of society and it works better without the influence of the gays" thing, I think that time has long since passed.

Jay said...

There is no argument against repealing DADT. An overwhelming majority of Americans think it should be repealed and an overwhelming majority of men and women in the military think it should be repealed too. But, don't worry folks, a handful of people in the US Senate will make sure it doesn't get repealed.

Dana said...

Lynette, Mr. Sheng's exhibit is scheduled to come to Chicago some time next year. I hope by the time it is here the service members will be able to show their faces.

Grant, we do, as a society, love our "separate but equal" stance, don't we? As long as we can point to the fact that we've "honored" everyone we can cover that deeply embedded separatism.

Jay, you know - just a year ago - I had some doubts about the repeal of DADT. I fell for the arguments. Fortunately I'm smart enough to realize that I'm pretty stupid sometimes.

I just hope you are wrong Jay, but fear you might not be.

Mike said...

The military can't afford to continue with their religious bigotry. They need the bodies.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

DADT should be repealed NOW...

Great pictures

Real Live Lesbian said...

Truly sad that they cannot show their faces. And yet, like you are willing to die for the same people that enjoy the freedom to deny them that right.

Dana said...

Mike, do you think it is religious bigotry? I think it's just plain ignorance!

Vinny "Bond" Marini, the photos spoke VOLUMES to me. I see love, respect and duty ... and a burden none of them should have to carry.

Real Live Lesbian, what finally slapped me up along side the head was that DADT doesn't keep anyone out of the military, it just forces them to hide who they are. Silly! Just plain silly!

Another Suburban Mom said...

I am glad that you changed your mind and pleased that you can admit that your original opinion has changed.

The photos are beautiful and I will catch the exhibit if it comes my way.

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T said...

Beautiful. I love these pictures! Thank you so much for sharing. And thank YOU for serving our country too.