AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Jeff Sheng’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Photography Exhibit

November 15th, 2010 | 6 comments | Posted by Jen

On Friday of last week, the day after Veterans Day, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to lift the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, even though a lower court had ruled that the law which bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military is unconstitutional. It’s estimated that 66,000 gays and lesbians–or 2 percent of all U.S. military personnel–are currently serving our country. That’s 66,000 people who are making sacrifices, sometimes leaving their loved ones, and often risking their lives for a country that continues to tell them that their sexual orientation is a problem.

L.A.-based photographer Jeff Sheng has spent two years making portraits of a few of these 66,000 good men and women. His “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” photos were on display last week at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters in Washington, and they’re also available in book form.

Because of DADT, however, Sheng’s portraits are portraits where his subject’s faces have been blurred, obscured, shadowed, and hidden.

“If this person got outed, they would lose their pension, their retirement benefits — their 20 years of service in the military would be gone,” Sheng said.

By hiding their faces, his subjects assume the posture of shame. The real shame isn’t in their sexual orientation, of course–it’s in the fact that an outrageously discriminatory law like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell continues to exist in this day and age.

[via CNN]
[photos via Jeff Sheng Photography]

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses to “AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Jeff Sheng’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Photography Exhibit”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by DISGRASIAN™, J A S M I N E and Justine Dolorfino, Michelle | 미셸. Michelle | 미셸 said: RT @disgrasian: AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Jeff Sheng’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Photography Exhibit http://dlvr.it/8bbQS [...]

  2. Hello Kitty says:

    Some poses appear shameful and others seem anonymous. There are two which stand out, the double hand face cover and the mirror reflection that is cut off. They are jarring, almost violent, in their presentation of anonymity. And then there is the spooky one of the Grace who is floating above a bed. Is she jumping or is her body in midair because she was hanged? The photo can be interpreted both ways.

    The subjects are photographed in military wear, but the locations are domestic venues, mostly bedrooms–because many people focus on the sexual practices of gay and bi people–and the soldiers are oddly out of place. They should be outdoors or in a military settings not shuttered up in domestic spaces.

    Most poignant of all are the four couples whose faces cannot be revealed.

  3. Jen says:

    @Hello Kitty I interpret the subjects being photographed while “shuttered up in domestic spaces” as a comment on how their sexual orientation is treated by the military. Because being gay isn’t allowed to exist outdoors or in a military setting under DADT.

  4. Hello Kitty says:

    @Jen

    Totally agree, you phrase it better than I.

  5. Cindy says:

    @Jen …dead on. Being closeted means only being gay at home…and invisible everywhere else.

  6. Le says:

    I thought Obama was gonna get rid of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Oh well I guess it’s in the hands of the judicial branch.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

karatekid

Yo, Is This Racist? Podcast f/t DISGRASIAN Day 5: Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting

April 26th, 2013 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Not all martials arts movies look same.

The cast of HBO's 'Girls'

Yo, Is This Racist? Podcast f/t DISGRASIAN Day 4: Was The HBO ‘Girls’ Controversy About Racism Or Sexism?

April 25th, 2013 | 2 comments | Posted by Jen

Girl talk.

Peter-Beste9

Yo, Is This Racist? Podcast f/t DISGRASIAN Day 3, aka Hump Day: What To Do When Your Friend Likes Racist Music

April 24th, 2013 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Should you dump a friend who likes racist stuff?

office space

Yo, Is This Racist? Podcast f/t DISGRASIAN Day 2: Workplace Segregation + A Little History Lesson

April 23rd, 2013 | 2 comments | Posted by Jen

Don’t hate, integrate.

I was trying to give Andrew bunny ears, but I ended up throwing an Asian peace sign instead. Yo, I think that's racist.

Yo, Is This Racist? Podcast f/t DISGRASIAN Day 1: Natural Hair

April 22nd, 2013 | 1 comment | Posted by Jen

Wherein we take all of your racist questions. (Some of them, anyway.)

Photo by Lee-Jin Man/AP

Creepy Photo Of S. Korean Soldier Wielding Machine Gun In Front Of Laughing Children Kinda Sums Up Where We Are At This Juncture

April 18th, 2013 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Peace.

2013-03-29-01-01

If North Korea Attacks Us, I Have Just One Favor To Ask God

April 5th, 2013 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

North Korea is so hot right now.

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 11.22.12 AM

Michelle Malkin Desperately Wants To Be Michelle Obama

February 28th, 2013 | 2 comments | Posted by Jen

Wannabe.

Screen Shot 2012-12-05 at 2.52.57 PM

Penn State Sorority Girls Will Work For Weed & Beer

December 5th, 2012 | 6 comments | Posted by Jen

Viva racism!

bfbutt

Intern Jasmine’s Links Of The Daysian: The Ass Pants & Butt-Rubbing Edition

November 30th, 2012 | 1 comment | Posted by jasmine

We here at DISGRASIAN™ are going to use our buying power to buy as many Samsung butt-rubbed phones as we can.

ama_psy_and_hammer_this_one_0

Things I Thought I’d Never See: A Dude Rapping In Korean At The American Music Awards

November 19th, 2012 | 3 comments | Posted by Jen

Gangnam Time? Hammer Style?

dj-twinkie2-blog480

RIP Twinkies, RIP Name Asians Like To Call Other Asians Who Are Less Asian Than They Are

November 16th, 2012 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

How are we going to insult one another now?!