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Army National Guard Lieutenant Dan Choi, gay activist and de facto face of the movement to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” is currently being hospitalized–involuntarily committed to the psychiatric ward of the VA Medical Center in Brockton, MA following a “nervous breakdown” and “anxiety attack.”
Choi released a statement to colleague/blogger Pam Spaulding:
I did not initially want to publicize this but I now realize it is critical for our community to know several things: veterans gay or straight carry human burdens, Activists share similar burdens, no activist should be portrayed as super human, and the failures of government and national lobbying carry consequences far beyond the careers and reputations of corporate leaders, elected officials, High powered lobbyists, or political elites. They ruin lives. My breakdown was a result of a cumulative array of stressors but there is no doubt that the composite betrayals felt on Thursday, by elected leaders and gay organizations as well as many who have exploited my name for their marketing purposes have added to the result. I am certain my experience is not an isolated incident within the gay veteran community.
At the same time, those who have been closest to me know that I truly appreciate their gracious help and mentorship. I am indebted to their hospitality and leadership.
If you could share the info and sentiment I’d be most grateful.
Our support and thoughts are with Dan right now–we get it, we get you; just get well.
Naturally, we think a few thanks are in order.
Filed under: anxiety attack, Aren't We All To Blame?, Army National Guard, Center For Military Readiness, DADT, Dan Choi, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Elaine Donnelly, Fillibuster, Gays in the Military, Kill The Fillibuster, Knights Out, Log Cabin Republicans, Lt. Dan Choi Hospitalized, Lt. Dan Choi involuntarily committed, nervous breakdown, one is not enough, Politicians, Repeal DADT, Republicans, Republicans Stall Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal, Scott Brown, Shameful Laws
Kate Middleton and Olivia Munn – separated at birth? Or do all hot brunettes just look alike? [TMZ]
The monologue of last night’s Conan went out the window when Coco became transfixed by a totally adorable (26-year-old) Asian Harry Potter fan. [TBS]
Dan Choi took to Twitter to call Barack Obama “the worst POTUS in #LGBT history.” [Joe My God]
Meanwhile, Kal Penn is back to work at the White House with the POTUS after filming A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, likely bearing the best bag of munchies EVAR. [ABC News]
Fei Lam made $130,000 for selling the parts to make a white iPhone, aka the Moby Dick of smartphones. [Gawker]
If Kate Gosselin re-packs her kids’ uneaten school lunches the next day (waste not, want not!), does that make her a Hardass Asian Mama or just lazy? [MSNBC]
Privy helps you casually copy the dining habits of your favorite Asian celebs. “Oh yah, Kelly Hu and I dine here all the time.” [Privy.net]
This sad story of a six-year-old AIDS orphan living alone in China has a happy ending – he’s being adopted! [China Smack]
Baby panda! Baby panda! Baby panda! [Zoo Atlanta]
Filed under: Adoption, AIDS orphan A-Long, baby panda, Conan O'Brien, DADT, Dan Choi, Dianne Feinstein, DREAM Act, Fei Lam, Harry Potter, Intern Jasmine's Links of the Daysian, Kal Penn, Kalpen Modi, Kate Gosslin, Kate Middleton, Olivia Munn, Privy, Separated at Birth!, Steve Li, Twitter, white iPhone, Zoo Atlanta
Since an Army National Guard committee recommended his discharge last summer, Knights Out founder Lt. Dan Choi has been staying active in the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Meanwhile, his commander, a big supporter, fought the discharge decision and recently called Choi personally to ask for his return.
The Advocate has reported that Choi rejoined his unit in Pennsylvania last weekend, opting out of a speaking engagement at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change conference.
As far as we know, he has not snapped a towel, leered at any of his military colleagues, referred to any unform as “fabulous,” nor told any soldier to give him head. In short, he is doing what he was meant to do: serve his country professionally, with honor and loyalty. That duty has nothing whatsoever to do with the gender he dates and is a heckuvalot more than most of us would or could do ourselves.
We sure as hell feel a whole lot safer knowing he’s out there protecting us.
Thanks, Isaac and Jaime!
Filed under: Army National Guard, Army National Guard Committee, Bullshit Policy, Dan Choi, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Gays in the Military, Gaysians, Heroes, Knights Out, Lieutenant Dan Choi Fired from Army, Military Men, Safety First, US Military
Mr. President, we’re watching and waiting (patiently, as you’ve asked) for you to make good on this promise. And so is our hero, Dan Choi. Here he is on The Situation Room today:
We hope that the next time he goes into the studio to talk to Wolf, he’s celebrating the eradication of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Standing behind the Poitier building on the Sony lot in Culver City last night, I reminisced with pride about the calm, cool manner in which I once met Sidney Poitier. He shook my hand and I somehow avoided squealing, then followed up with charming conversation and gentle laughter, holding in my excitement for the first moment he wasn’t within shouting distance. An hour later, I totally fucking freaked out and called everyone I could think of to brag. But the running phrase in every call was: “Well you see, I tend not to get starstruck, so I…”
Mid-flashback, I spotted Dan Choi, one of DISGRASIAN’s favorite Amazians, who was in Los Angeles last night to present the press screening of Brave New Foundation’s latest installation of the In Their Boots series: “Silent Partners.” “Partners” is a documentary short (watch a preview here) about the same-sex partners of three American service members whose lives are shrouded in secrecy because of our military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy–heartbreaking and difficult to watch, but important and incredibly beautiful.
I immediately turned into a bumbling idiot, gushing over Choi’s awesomeness and DISGRASIAN’s deep (and clearly very clunky) admiration of his good work. Witnesses have told me that I barfed out words like “flurferful” and “prowb,” possibly even referred to myself as “Dinana.” Whoops.
Still, despite my semi-creepy enthusiasm, the wondrous (and completely adorable) Dan Choi humored me. He even spared some of his early West Point knowledge, teaching me how to properly salute (this actually took awhile):
Until I got it right:
Tila Tequila penned an open letter criticizing the policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (addressed, like her Twitter updates, to “everyone”), intended for the eyes of President Obama, which was posted on Global Grind this week. In the piece, she details the journey of amazian Dan Choi, whose public profile has skyrocketed since he came out in defiance of the policy–and as a result, was booted from the military.
Being an openly bisexual woman myself and having a lot of close gay friends, I have always HATED that policy, which pretty much tells people that in order to serve our country, you have to live in secret.
We get it. And we laud her efforts, but we can’t help but think she’s missing the point a bit.
See, being bisexual and having gay friends isn’t the reason to hate the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is unfair and wrong. EVERYONE should hate this policy, regardless of their personal perspective on sexuality. End of story.
Last night, The Daily Show totally nailed the absurdity of the Army firing Lieutenant Dan Choi–West Point grad, Iraq War vet, and much-needed Arabic translator–after he violated its “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy:
To protest Lt. Dan Choi’s firing and to ask President Obama to keep his promise to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” click here.
The Army National Guard dismissed Knights Out founder Dan Choi this week–a not-so-gentle reminder that the archaic, pussy-footed, bullshit policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the U.S. military is still alive and kicking. And still bullshit.
Note to Obama and Congress: We’re asking and telling you to get a move on–repeal this policy now.
Thanks, Kenny, Jasmine and James!
Name: 1st Lieutenant Dan Choi
Occupation: National Guardsman with the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, based in Manhattan
Known for: Graduating from West Point with degrees in Arabic Language and Environmental Engineering, serving an extended tour of combat in Baghdad during the Iraq War, and founding Knights Out–an advocacy and education organization of soldiers that strives for the best possible leadership in the military, regardless of sexual orientation. Choi, joined by the other members of Knights out, are coming out publicly to defy the disingenuous policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Choi told the Navy Times, “I’m very comfortable with all the repercussions right now. To me, it’s about doing the right thing, not about trying to fit into the process that gets you the rank or prevents you from getting a discharge. If that’s the repercussion, I’m ready to take it. I think it’s more important that I let everybody know that … it is a wrong policy.” (For more regarding KO, See Choi’s interview with Rachel Maddow above)
We almost wish we were cadets so that we could join Knights Out, a surefire way to be associated with a military man boasting actual balls of steel.
Filed under: Amazian Gaysians, Balls of Steel, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Coming Out, Dan Choi, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Gay Rights, Military Men, National Guard, Policy That Sucks, Rachel Maddow, West Point