Later this year Haworth will be issuing an enhanced version of MILITARY TRADE. Whether or not you opt to buy a copy, be sure to check out the newly expanded photo section, which features some choice military erotica images collected by Kinsey himself.

“Steven Zeeland does for gender study what others have to settle for wishing they could. His interviews — THE BEST ARE ‘STRAIGHT TO HELL’ MEETS STUDS TERKEL IN KINSEY DRAG — let you make your own decisions, by allowing their subjects to speak for themselves. . . . And Zeeland’s admiration for the soldiers he documents is a subtext printed with invisible but indelible ink.” — Brian Pera / Lowblueflame.com

It’s high time I donned my Kinsey drag anew. As reported last month, I’ve resumed collecting materials documenting military initiation rituals.

If you have any photos, clippings, personal anecdotes, audio or videotapes you’d be willing to contribute to this project, please drop me an e-mail with RESEARCH in the subject line.

Needless to say, I have a special interest in activities that appear to entail homoerotic aspects. My aim is not, however, to “expose” these traditions as somehow “really gay.” Nor do I want to embarrass the military. On the contrary. My approach will be documentarian — and elegiac.

My goal is to compile a scrapbook of sorts chronicaling initiation rituals military men have used to bond; to integrate newcomers; to self-govern their living and working spaces; to let off steam, etc. I’ve already written a little about the “crossing the line” ceremony, a sailor tradition that dates back centuries but is rapidly dying out.

It appears likely that this and other military male-bonding rituals will soon become as obsolete as . . . urinals on Navy ships?

My e-mail address remains the same, steve@stevenzeeland.com. I’m a terrible correspondent, but I do my best to answer as many letters as I can. And I maintain my pledge to read and carefully archive every letter sent my way.

By the way, all of my research materials will ultimately end up — Where else? You guessed it: the newly established “Zeeland Special Collection” at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction in Bloomington, Indiana.

That’s all for now. Back to you, Momus.

Steve
March 2001


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