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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
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
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:
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!