The Sunday review section of the New York Times has a remarkable photographic essay, and a long interview with the photographer, Vincent Cianni, conducted by Nathaniel Frank, whose biography at Slate reads
Nathaniel Frank, author of Unfriendly Fire and a visiting scholar at Columbia’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, is writing a book called The Anti-Gay Mind.about a project Cianni began to document the toll of Don't Ask Don't Tell on gay men and women who served in the military and became subjects of the witchhunt that accompanied the policy.
I thought this might be of interest to many of you. A little more below the Great Orange Oak-Leaf Cluster.
I'm posting a couple of teasers, because the whole thing is worth reading. First a picture and its caption:
“They read me my rights, pulled me out, revoked my clearance, recouped my sign-on bonus and ushered me to the gate and said, ‘Have a good one.’”And a quotation from the interview:
Jase Daniels, Pacific Grove, Calif. Petty Officer Second Class, U.S. Navy, 2001-5, 2006-7 and 2011-present. Hebrew Linguist. First service member to be reinstated after repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Q.It's worth a look. I'm posting it now because this is the last diary you should expect from me aside from a meetup diary with pictures until the 24th. I'm presenting a paper at a conference in Detroit on Thursday and attending a conference that runs through Saturday and the paper needs my attention. There won't be a history diary next weekend either, although you might see me in a meetup diary since I'm having dinner with the Motor City Kossacks Saturday night.
When you started this project, you were asking people to share with you very private aspects of their lives, in many cases when the ban still applied to them and exposing themselves entailed risks. How did you gain their trust?
At the beginning it was really difficult to break through that wall because they didn’t know who I was. But the interviews were a big part of how I established trust. I always thought of myself as part therapist when I did these interviews. I’d talk with people about things that sometimes they hadn’t visited for many years or had never visited. There were things they said to me on tape that they had never discussed with anyone else. Sometimes I shared with them my own experiences and difficulties. By the time the interviews ended, we had shared something just like you share in boot camp.