Ask, tell, et cetera

Not long ago, ran an Explainer column describing how the U.S. military ascertains whether a service member is gay, for purposes of booting them out under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Apparently, photos are the best, most reliable source. Facebook postings are another key source: Does the soldier post about having a same-sex partner? Do his or her friends refer to one?

Yesterday, in a article linked to by the Daily Dish, I read that in Turkey, where being gay is one of only two ways young men can avoid their mandatory six-month military service, the bar for proving you’re gay is much higher. If a man hopes to get out of his military service, he supposedly has to not only be gay; he has to be the “receiving” partner in the sexual relationship. And yes, photos of said activities are apparently sometimes requested, to prove the soldier’s gayness.

Astoundingly, some gays also report that they were asked to produce photographs showing them as participants in anal intercourse. Even then, Turkish authorities are said to apply special criteria. According to the military, and Turkish society at large, penetrating another man does not necessarily qualify as a homosexual act; only being penetrated is undisputedly homosexual. Hence the unwritten rule when it comes to such photos: “The man should be in the passive position, receiving from behind,” L. explains, “and looking at the camera. Preferably while smiling.”

It’s not surprising to me that, in a situation where men want to be excused from service, they must leap a higher hurdle to prove they’re gay. If the U.S. ever reinstated the draft, I’m sure legions of young men here would claim to be gay, even if they weren’t, to avoid service. Perhaps this is the case in Turkey as well.

The sad irony is that here, without the draft, it’s the legions of young men and women who really want to serve who are kicked out, perhaps for a single photo or Facebook post. Perhaps the Turkish military would accept them. Goodness knows, they must be dedicated soldiers to put up with the hoops they must jump through to serve under DADT.

4 responses to “Ask, tell, et cetera”

  1. Dave says:

    Some film I saw claimed that during WWII, the Navy tried to weed out gay draftees by seeing who lacked a strong gag reflex.

  2. farrell fawcett says:

    Since I’ve broke the ice, have I told you lately how much I love you too LP? Your undying enthusiasm here at TGW is so so appreciated. Thank you!. Sorry I so rarely comment. I love reading your posts. Please don’t stop! XO. (ok, love fest over). Although, while I’m here: thank you Dave and Scott and Stella and PB and Andrew (and who else am I forgetting?) for still posting. I read you all! You are an important part of my day. XOXOXOXOXO to youse too!

  3. LP says:

    FF, I send boatloads of XXXXOOOOO to you too! What lovely shout-outs!

  4. lane says:

    yeah and the pity is how gay the military is, parades? all those medals and other shinny things? to get dudes to bond over physically sexy material, shiny shoes for example, you have to exclude what is actually sexy, like tits and ass and cock.

    it’s this same aspect of visual culture that gives the nazis and “the gays” that special sticking power. national socialism, was in some sense, one giant repressed return of the best of the wienmar spirit, that is the celebration of the flesh in it’s many forms.

    ruined of course by racism.

    so . . . the military . . . whadayado? . . . love those kids in uniform! . . . bumpersticker THAT!