Trent: The Boatswain’s Locker

“When we was on the fantail, if you came back there we would all look at you like, ‘Do you know where you’re at? I hope you know we’re having a tea party back here!’ It was like that.” – Trent

Trent: On my ship, we used the fantail as our little get together. When we was on the fantail, if you came back there we would all look at you like, “Do you know where you’re at? I hope you know we’re having a tea party back here!” It was like that. The entire time we was on the fantail no one else ever really came back there, unless they was trying to work us.

Zeeland: Would men have sex back there?

T: No, we’d just hang out. There was about seven or eight of us. It was quite festive. I had my own little spot where I had a couple rendezvous. It was where we kept our life jackets. But the only thing was, if you were to get caught in there with another guy, it would be too obvious what was going on. There was no light in there, and it’s only so big. . . . There’s a lot of drinking involved. Then going on ship. A lot of times you’d go out, party, go back to your motel room, and — I didn’t have no intentions of sleeping with some of the guys off my ship. I mean, I thought they looked good or whatever, but it was just — For some reason, if you’re suspected of being gay, all these guys still want to hang out with you, go get drunk, and get a motel room with you. I could talk to numerous friends, and they would tell me, “Oh, this is how I got with this one guy.” And the stories all sound the same. It’s incredible that you know this one guy and he had this other guy off the ship and you had no idea that he even thought about being with another guy.

Z: You think a lot of these guys you had sex with were straight?

T: Yeah. Or bi. A lot of married guys. Then you got your old timers that have been in the Navy for a while. They try to work you, too. They patted me on the butt, and said these things like, “Oh, you know you want it.” I’m like, [Sarcastically:] “Okay, I guess you know what I want.” Right on the ship. During working hours. . . . I was out with this friend of mine, which was family, and we had no intentions of getting with anyone or doing anything, except for going out and having a good time. We went back to the ship. This other guy comes to my rack and wakes me up, talking this trash. He said, “You couldn’t handle this.” His private part. I’m drunk and I’m going, “Hold up, hold up. Wait a minute. What did you just say to me?” “You heard me.” “Child, you ain’t got enough down there to be talking that trash to me. Don’t make me get out of my rack to do something you’re gonna regret in the morning.” He grabbed my hand and put it on it. I’m like, “See, now you gettin’ me all upset.” He’s like, “Where we gonna go?” “I got a spot. We’ll go one at a time.” I told him where it was at. I said, “If you’re not there within two minutes after I get there I’m getting out. Even if you’re comin’ in when I’m gettin’ out, I’m just goin’ to hit my rack.” Most of the time they came within the two minutes.

Z: These straight guys picked up on the fact that you’re gay and tried to work you?

T: Totally. There was a lot of them I had to say no to ’cause I was like, “What do you all take me for?” Just because I knew their attitudes toward gays, or fags, or whatever they’d say. Then when they get drunk they want to come back and get their dick sucked. “I don’t think so. No.”

Z: You refused to participate in the crossing the line ceremony because your division told you that you were going to [compete for] wog queen.

T: Yeah. I thought that was a disgrace. I don’t ever see me putting on a dress. I think that would be a low point.