Compiled by Howard Israel
“The US military is making changes of its own, although they aren’t really being publicized either. Along with the sensitivity training that’s been required of all servicemembers to acclimate them to the new, post-DADT military, the Navy made another, more personal gesture this week. Melvin Dwork was expelled from the Navy in 1944, in the middle of World War II, when his own boyfriend in the service reported him. Now 89, he was notified last month that the ‘undesirable’ discharge on his record will finally be changed to ‘honorable.’ Because of his ‘undesirable’ discharge, Dwork was unable to draw GI benefits and is now in need of an expensive hearing aid that he might be able to afford if he got the pension he deserved. The Navy has said his benefits will be reinstated retroactively, although it’s not clear whether Dwork will receive back pay for the last 67 years. Since the proceedings to end DADT began, dozens of veterans have stepped forward asking for their records to be corrected; Dwork is the first WWII veteran to achieve it.”
-Rachel, senior editor, in her column titled “The Last Days of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Are Finally Here,” about the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” and about Melvin Dwork’s experience being expelled from the U.S. Navy, http://www.autostraddle.com, Sept. 18
“Where you really notice it is among older men. Among young guys today, body image anxiety is so high that I’m not sure that if you were to take a bunch of 18-year-olds, that an 18-year-old straight guy and an 18-year-old gay guy would have different ideals for themselves. They may have different sexual fantasies, but their sense of what they need to do to be sexually attractive is probably the same … I think that young gay men and young straight men feel similar levels of anxiety simply because young straight men have caught up to where young gay men have always been in terms of this worry.”
-Hugo Schwyzer, columnist for The Good Men Project, a web site focused on enlightened masculinity, about studies that have shown that gay men tend to adhere to an even more hypermuscular body ideal than heterosexual men, in an interview titled “Isn’t He Lovely,” http://www.bitchmagazine.org, Sept. 12.
“Look we’re all Americans. We all love our country. So can we PLEASE stop calling people who disagree with us ‘UnAmerican’ or say they ‘hate America’? Grow up. Whether we are black, white, Latin, tall, short, fat, Republican, Democrat, green, independent, tea party, party animals, gay, straight, bisexual, transsexual, or no-sex-at-all, we all love our country. We just have different ideas of what’s the best way to show that love. We just have different ideas of how it should work … Let’s all agree that it’s just beneath us to even go down that road. Disagree on everything else, but let’s try to stop with this knee-jerk BS.”
-Jason Dabrowski, in his blog posting titled “UnAmerican,” http://www.jasonsez.blogspot.com, Sept. 11.
“Congress should pass comprehensive federal legislation requiring schools to enact programs and policies that reduce and eliminate the harassment and bullying of LGBT students. In the absence of a federal law, states have woven together a patchwork of policies to protect LGBT students. This policy quilt is riddled with weak patches and holes that leave many students vulnerable to bullying and harassment. While most states have added some form of protection for at least some students, three states currently have no antibullying policies: Michigan, Montana, and South Dakota. The effectiveness of the policies in the other states varies, as many do not enumerate the categories for protection, leaving it up to individual school districts to determine who is covered by the policy and whether the perpetrators receive mandated bullying punishment and counseling.”
-Jeff Krehely and Mark Hines, in their brief titled “Comprehensive Federal Approach Needed to Create Safe Schools for All Students – Obama Administration Takes Important Steps to Help Nation’s LGBT Youth,” asserting that all students in the U.S. deserve access to not only a quality education, but also one that takes place in an environment that is safe and respects their basic human dignity, http://www.americanprogress.org, Sept. 8.