A poor, young gay man from the rural South joins the US Army under pressure from his father, and because it’s the only way left to pay for a college education. He is sent to Iraq, where he is tormented by fellow soldiers who entertain themselves watching “war porn” videos of drone and helicopter attacks on civilians. He is accused of leaking documents to Wikileaks and placed in solitary confinement where he has been held for more than a year awaiting a military trial. The President of the United States, a former Constitutional law professor apparently suffering amnesia about the presumption of innocence, declares publicly that this soldier “broke the law.” The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Amnesty International, and the American Civil Liberties Union express grave concern about the conditions of his imprisonment, and the spokesman for the US State Department is forced to resign after calling it “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.” A letter signed by 295 noted legal scholars charges that his imprisonment violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and the Fifth Amendment guarantee against punishment without trial, and that procedures used on Bradley Manning “calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality” amount to torture.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Human Rights Campaign, having invested millions lobbying for “gays in the military,” have no comment. Of course not. Bradley Manning is not that butch patriotic homosexual—so central to the gays-in-the-military campaign—who Defends Democracy and Fights Terrorism with a virility indistinguishable from that of his straight buddies. He is not that pillar of social and economic stability, only incidentally homosexual, who returns home from the front to a respectable profession and a faithful spouse and children.
No, Bradley Manning is a poor, physically slight computer geek with an Oklahoma accent. He is—let us use the word, and not in a negative way—a sissy. Having grown up in a dysfunctional family in a small town in the South, he is that lonely, maladjusted outsider many gay people have been, or are, or recognize, whether we wish to admit it or not. He broke the law, the President says. And he did so—the liberal press implies, trying terribly hard to temper severity with compassion—because he wasn’t man enough to deal with the pressure. He did so because he’s a sissy and he couldn’t put up with the manly rough-and-tumble that is so important to unit cohesion, like that time three of his buddies assaulted him, and instead of taking it like a good soldier, he peed in his pants. And then of course he was so embarrassed he threw a hissy fit and sent Wikileaks our nation’s most closely guarded secrets, like some petulant teenage girl who gets her revenge by spreading gossip. This is, of course, the classic argument about gays and national security—they’ll get beat up or blackmailed and reveal our secrets. And NGLTF, Lambda, and HRC, with their impeccably professional media and lobbying campaign, based on the best branding and polls and focus groups that money can buy, have effectively demolished that insidious stereotype.
They have demolished it by abandoning Bradley Manning.
Larry Goldsmith, Rich Man’s War, Poor (Gay) Man’s Fight, Why Are Faggots So Afraid Of Faggots?
(Anyone else getting a little sick of the assimilationist gay movement? You know, the one that says only white, masculine, straight acting gay men are worthy of rights)