"I had to really hide being gay, I had to wear two faces. . . . I would purposely have 'boyfriends,' because I wanted people on the ship to know I was not gay. . . . I [would] go hang with [gay] friends away from the ship. I wouldn't allow people to take pictures of me if we were in a gay club. It was a totally different life. . . . I lived a double life."—Informant, A Few Good Gays
The US military has done an about-face on gender and sexuality policy over the last decade, ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, restrictions on women in combat, and transgender exclusion. Contrary to expectations, servicemembers have largely welcomed LGB inclusion—yet they continue to vociferously resist trans inclusion and the presence of women on the front lines. In the minds of many, the embodied “deficiencies” of cisgender women and trans people of all genders puts others—and indeed, the nation—at risk. In this book, Cati Connell identifies the homonormative bargain that underwrites these uneven patterns of reception. Despite the promise of inclusivity, in practice, the military has made room for only a “few good gays,” to the exclusion of all others.
A Few Good Gays The Gendered Compromises behind Military Inclusion
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