Bil Browning

Supporting the troops

Filed By Bil Browning | May 26, 2008 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: hot soldiers, Memorial Day

As a "militant gay activist," I'm always willing to support the troops. Any way I can. Especially that soldier next to last on the right. Happy Memorial Day.

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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 26, 2008 11:15 AM

Thanks Bil, for pricking up my patriotism!

"Let the soldiers for duty be carefully pricked off"

Sir Walter Scott

Michael Mahoney | May 26, 2008 12:13 PM

On any other day, I would probably find this amusing, but on a day that is supposed to memorialize the men and women who have sacrificed so much your posting of this is a trivialization sexually marginalizing of America's heroes.

Michael,
As a veteran, I have to say I felt the same way.

Without criticizing the photo, I'd like to suggest that we remember the GLBT men and women who, in every war the US has fought, died for their country in silence --- and the GLBT soldiers who serve today in a silence that is only slightly less deafening.

And may their need for silence come to an end very soon.

---------------------------

(P.S. When I was service age, I did not even consider going into the military. The photo above illustrates one reason why --- in a group like that, it would have been inevitable that I would have "fallen in love" with somebody, and I'd have gotten discharged so fast a cruise missile couldn't have outrun the movement of my paperwork. And my similar experiences in college reinforce my certainty that I am right about this. Being gay is one thing; being really, really psychologically screwed up because of things in your childhood is another.)

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 26, 2008 2:35 PM

OK ya'll, step away from the third rail. Bil was showing us some eye candy. It is for fun, pretend it is a military calendar they sell. He was not being disrespectful to the military who have defended us.

Allen, my dear, I have lived with a man (32 years in October) who spent thirteen years in and loved the air force and the esprit des corps involved. And yes, he had a hard rule. No personal relationships on base. When he was horney he got dressed in his civvies and drove 100 miles to a gay bar. Hey, he left the military in 1959.

Now as to your experiences in college, you can't drag around old luggage forever. Young people today are light years ahead of where we were at an equivalent age. My love always!

Good grief, do we have some sensitive nellies here!

Nice humorous post, Bil; disregard the drama queens.

Wilson46201 | May 26, 2008 6:37 PM

I don't know if anybody else noticed the third guy from the right of the photo in the front row - just what is he holding in his right hand?

Lucrece,
Excuse me? You want real "drama," then join the military. I come from a long line of military people and they all served proudly for this country and I don't appreciate something this that makes fun of something that is real important in my family, and millions of others across this country. Not only had members of my family served in all the past wars, but my grandfather, father, all my uncles, my brother, my ex wife and my son all served.

This is the wrong damn time of the year to make fun of those people who gave their lives and time so a blog like this can exist. If Bil wanted to gawk at supposed military men in shorts, then he should have post the picture on his wall at home and not here on Memorial Day. I expect an apology, but I doubt I'll see it.

Popping in for a second to briefly say:

If you don't like my post, there is another one two posts up that's very serious that no one has commented on. You could be commenting there about the donation you'll be sending to charity to help soldiers or that you've signed up as a volunteer or ways you've thought of to help Storm fundraise.

Personally, I'm lining up a bunch of blogs to run ads for the charity for free. How are you helping Storm? It's bound to be more productive than sitting around and complaining about a post that obviously meant no harm...

Young people today are light years ahead of where we were at an equivalent age.

I strongly suspect that you are correct. I also am very glad that the military experience of your partner, Robert, was a good one.

I am sure that, in any era, many GLBT youngsters make good soldiers right out of high school. I am only saying that I wasn't one of them, and I know it. This is true despite the fact that the Air Force Recruiter gave my high school class (well, the guys!) a battery of tests, including a 3-D spatial reasoning test, and when I scored in the 99th percentile he almost begged me to enlist.

My college experience, and after, has involved thousands of hours of psychotherapy. I have insights about myself that many wouldn't understand even if I bothered to regurgitate them here. Anyone calling my comments "nelly" or "drama queen" may be speaking conveniently, but they are hardly speaking from an informed position.

Now as to your experiences in college, you can't drag around old luggage forever.

I am not dragging around old luggage. My point is that, as we fight to make the military available for those GLBT recruits who are fit, we must also be careful to remember that some of us are not a good match for the military.

... Just as some heterosexuals are not. If all straight men knew how to behave properly in a military environment, then today's female soldiers would not be experiencing all the problems with sexual attacks that they do. In a way, one can understand why the military might sweat and shirk at complicating the military environment with GLBT issues when to date they have done such a piss-poor job at making the [presumably heterosexual] women soldiers safe from their fellow males.

Correction, A.J., subtlety is not your strong suit; neither is attention to detail. No need for "anyone", the obvious choice is "no one", as my comments did not concern you in any form.

P.S. No need to think twice about this post, Bil. It has generated some discussion, even if heated, that apparently was not seeing the light of day otherwise. What might be simple eye candy to some, might be a Rorschach test to others.

Lucrece, there is no "detail" in your first comment above that indicates which previous commenter(s) you were calling "drama queens" --- but I will point out that you wrote the word "queens" as plural. Thus, although it is clear that I was not being targeted singularly, it is not clear whether I was to be included. If I mis-read your post, then I believe the mistake was a very reasonable one, and I beg that you overlook it.

But bottom line is that I don't care to argue about it. Let's not.

How have I helped? I lobbied Congress in their offices to repeal DADT on several occasions.

How have I helped? I have written several articles that have been printed on various gay presses about the stupidity of DADT.

How have I helped? I have called Congress people and attended local and national rallies on the repeal of DADT.

How have I helped? I have donated to SLDN.

How has TAVA helped? Wait until you see the survey, at the end of June, or early July.

How have I helped? I sent my son over there twice. How many of you can say that?

I have recalled on several occasions where you bitched at me for something that I thought "meant no harm," but it made you mad. Now that I have something that I found offensive, since you own this blog, you get to brush it off. Seems a bit one way to me.

Okay, if my outrage cannot be seen here, then think of this. What would happen if someone decided to post a picture of a group of military women in a similar fashion? Most everyone reading this blog would explode, including many men. It may even have to be removed. After the dust settled on that controversy, just remind yourself of the double standard you so happily embrace. This is why the women reading this list need to speak out, too, or they will also approve a double standard here on Bilerico. Objectifying people is just plane BS. Objectifying military people on Memorial Day is worst.

I have recalled on several occasions where you bitched at me for something that I thought "meant no harm," but it made you mad. Now that I have something that I found offensive, since you own this blog, you get to brush it off. Seems a bit one way to me.

Okay, Monica. You have me there. :) You have (very nicely) apologized for any offenses you may have caused any contributor. That's fair.

I apologize for the offense. None was intended. It was a throwaway post on a holiday that I spent all of about 2 minutes preparing.

But I'd still like to point people to Storm's post about Books for Soldiers. If his national charity doesn't find some funding soon, it'll have to shut its doors.

Thank you, Bil. I will check out Storm's post.

Now, let us all move forward. The AC guy is replacing my old unit and a bunch of other associated stuff, so this is not a fun day as far as my finances go. I hope the rest of you have a better week.

To Wilson46201 in a lighter note: I think the private you mention, third from the right, is holding a little private of his own, to prevent it from rubbing against the dorsal private area of the private in front of him. Standard military practice, I understand.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 28, 2008 7:24 AM

Allen, is that in the handbook with the decoder ring? :)

Yes, Robert, it is ...

... in a paragraph aptly entitled "How To Prevent A Less-Than-Honorable Discharge"