In June, VILLAGE VOICE Executive Editor Richard Goldstein flew in from Manhattan to spend a night on the town with me and some sailor friends. We partied hard. So hard that Richard very nearly woke up the next morning with a tattoo on his buttocks. On returning to NYC he filed his report, which was published in the VOICE’s annual queer issue: Men Who Love Military Men Too Much — And the Sailors Who Oblige Them. I thought that Richard did a fine job portraying the milieu that I have written about and continue to inhabit. Regrettably, I failed to anticipate certain consequences, including, but not limited to: a long list of friends being summarily blacklisted from the tavern mentioned in print; the summary dismissal of the Native American single mother working at the bar the night of Goldstein’s visit — for not refusing to let me take photographs; a death threat; and being forwarded anonymous third-party e-mail crediting me with inspiring a military investigative service crackdown / witch hunt.
All this for an article about STRAIGHT MEN in the military.
“The feeling between them is merely manly, and its goal is friendship, not mating.”. . .
“The row over gays in the military has made servicemen hyperaware of homosexuality. ‘That may help people who embrace a gay identity,’ Steve says, ‘but progress has come at the expense of a certain traditional freedom among military men to enjoy physical intimacy without any implications for their identity.’ Instead of allowing out-and-proud gays to serve, Steve would rather see the ban on sodomy lifted. Any sort of sex off-duty would be permissible-and uncategorical. Don’t ask, don’t name.”
The same week, I was admitted to the emergency room of my local public hospital with symptoms not dissimilar to those described in media reports of a West Coast outbreak of a virus spread by dust particles contaminated by the saliva of waterfront rats. Also, my day job as Editor came to an unexpected end over creative differences.
To anyone who tried to contact me during this period and never received a reply, I apologize.