Correspondence

Sex and Soldiering

A Letter to Senator John Kerry

My, how time flies, sir. It seems like only yesterday (it was in late November 1991, actually) that you were apologizing after being caught telling a so-called gay-bashing anti-lesbian joke to Jerry Brown. You remember, the one that was inadvertently picked up by a C-Span microphone. I thought that what was wrong with the joke was that it wasn't all that funny, really. But, hey, that's history. And, obviously, you've reformed. I know this because I saw you on the NBC Today show (January 28, 1993) fighting for the "right" of "gays" to serve legally in our military. In fact, I saw you saying, flatly: "We should not have a policy that discriminates and kicks people out because of their sexual orientation."

Gays? Now, there's a once-fine word that has been corrupted, has it not? Your average homosexual is anything but gay, anything but full of mirth and lightheartedness. These folks are full of rage and hate. They ought to be called "glums" or "grims"—anything but "gay." But I wonder, senator: Do you really believe that people with any kind of sexual "orientation" ought legally to be in our Armed Forces? I ask you this, sir, because I've been reading a little bit in The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy (one of the standard and best-known medical texts), the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical...

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