Tom: The Brotherhood of Marines

“I knew there was a segment of the gay population in the military, but I didn’t realize how seriously some people took it.” – Tom

This [personal] ad ran all over the country. “Active-duty Marine, 19, seeks active-duty Marine.” I got thousands of responses. Doctors and lawyers were sending me pictures of their homes and their Mercedes. I knew there was a segment of the gay population into the military, but I didn’t realize how seriously some people took it. They were like, “Come live with me right now!” I wouldn’t respond, and they would keep writing, and keep writing. They were like pit bulls, they weren’t gonna let go. I got sent a watch that was really expensive. I don’t remember how much I got when I pawned it, but it was a lot. This guy had never wrote me before, had no idea what I looked like, and he sent me a gold watch . . .

Almost every gay man I’ve talked to about the Marine Corps-the only interest they have whatsoever in the Marine Corps is sex. And they don’t appreciate the sacrifices that Marines incur. Especially “Marine groupies,” guys that chase Marines. They like to think of themselves as being one of the guys when they’re around Marines. They think they know what Marines go through, and they feel their pain, and they think they’re somehow connected to them. But they don’t have-and I don’t think any civilian has-any idea of the physical or mental stress. The physical part of it is grueling. The humping, the running and all that. Some of these gay guys- Gym culture is really big in the gay community. You see a lot of gay guys who have really impressive physiques. And they think because they have that- They were really fond of telling me that they could kick my ass during the daily grind that Marines go through out in the field and all just because they’re buffed up and pretty. But I don’t think they realize that the typical, scrawny 140-pound Marine, when it comes right down to it, is going to run them in the dirt. Because of the fieldwork. That’s what I mean by the physical side of it. And the mental side is, they don’t understand what it’s like to-all of a sudden: boom!-you’re gone for six months, away from the people that you love, your boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever. That’s why it rubs me the wrong way whenever I’m at a bar with four or five Marines, and then some civilian guy is there, and he has this attitude that he’s one of the guys.