The Problem With “Openly Straight”


Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in the military is a sensible position IF it is applied to ALL the troops.

When I was in the Navy there was never even an eyebrow raised when I bragged about the bar girls I spent my nights with while on shore leave in Kaohsiung, Manila and Hong Kong. Why wasn’t I put on report and brought before a ‘Captain’s Mast’ for breaking the regulation that prohibited me from discussing MY sexual orientation?

I don’t have to say it, you can figure it out . . . but I’ll say it anyway for those of you who remain clueless about the phobic nature of the human race: ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ was never even intended to apply to heterosexuals. The majority rules and the majority are heterosexual. The military (and the Congress) may have thought they were attempting to correct a social imbalance by doing away with “don’t ask, don’t tell” but all they managed to do was make the problem worse by officially categorizing the sexual orientation of their troops.

Life has become more dangerous for gay troops who choose to become “open” about their sexuality because the military has painted a ‘target’ on their backs — a target that, for sure, will not be ignored by the more ‘aggressive’ “straight” troops who will always be in the majority; many of whom have been taught all of their lives that gay people are freaks to be ridiculed and, in many cases, even physically abused. (‘It’s alright, they’re just queers!’)

This past week, in an organization for youths . . . an organization that common sense suggests should be completely devoid of sexual agendas . . . the words “openly gay” were bantered about like they actually belonged in a discussion about rules for youth organizations. The Boy Scout’s of America (BSA)  National Council voted to allow “openly gay” scouts in the BSA and by doing that they declared that sexual orientation IS important in Boy Scouting (More important than the boys themselves?) and, beyond that, they declared, by implication, that it is absolutely proper for Boy Scouts to be open about their sexual preferences (and conquests, real or imagined). (Soon we may see merit badges for “Openness.”)

I would suggest that it defies logic why any organization created to teach and benefit American youth would make sexual orientation a defining issue, but when you consider that Boy Scouting is traditionally sponsored by religious organizations, it’s perfectly clear why logic plays no part in their rules.

100 years or so ago when the Boy Scouts began, there was no controversy about “gay scouts” only because gays were considered a ‘socially unacceptable” sub-culture that no one talked about. Gay boys had to hide their feelings for fear of rejection and physical abuse. Gay boys were taught that they were freaks of nature and were damned to Hell. Boys, however, will always be boys and indeed they were; gay boys secretly (very secretly) found each other and straight boys openly, proudly and loudly  “chased skirts” and bragged of their lust and their ‘conquests’ all with the smiling approval of the BSA.

The BSA’s ‘Bible-based’ oath which refers to being “morally straight” would have been a good one if it had applied to all scouts, not just the gay ones. If you had listened to “Conservative Talk Radio” during the debate leading up to the BSA Council vote, you would have heard that phrase: “morally straight” was specifically used (by supposed Christians) as a disqualifier for admitting gay scouts in the organization. Hearing that, you would have to suppose that that they think that their God created heterosexuals with one hand and homosexuals with the other (or something like that.)

This rant would not be complete without mentioning ‘activists;’ those who thrive on this type of controversy. It seems that, for some of the gay activists (the loudest and most “colorful”),  gay is not only their sexual identity, it is the entirety of their being.

It might be more beneficial to their lives if activists of all stripes (sexual, racial, ethnic, religious, etc) came down to earth and realized that activism is only effective up to a point; after that point their pride and arrogance only serve to separate them from the society that they are supposedly asking to be a part of.