Monday, December 22, 2008

USNA Alumni Asking & Telling

A very interesting interview I came across yesterday with Captain Steve Hall (USN - ret.), a gay veteran and former nuclear submarine commander. Hall is involved with USNA Out, a group for LGBT Naval Academy alumni. He is also the driving force behind a new documentary film, currently scheduled to premier in Summer 2009, about LGBT Naval Academy alumni and the DADT policy banning gays from openly serving in the military. This film should do much to highlight the service of these vets and I'm very encouraged by what he said about this project in this recent interview:

"When I was a midshipman, there were no gay or lesbian role models," he said. "All we ever heard was when someone was kicked out."

He hopes the film will help people see that gay service members exist and have achieved great things, and that the "don't ask, don't tell" policy - which requires gays in the military to hide their sexual identities or risk expulsion - is a "folly."

"This is another way to tell our story and unveil the masks of who we are. We need to educate our fellow alumni and anyone who will pay attention," said Jeff Petrie, the founder of the gay alumni group USNA Out, who has agreed to be interviewed for the film. "When I look back at how other minorities were treated in military history and how far we've come with how those people are now part of an integrated team, I know the same will be true for us one day. And I want to take advantage of every opportunity I can to move that along." [...]

While some alumni - particularly those who were kicked out - are bitter about what happened to them, that will not be the focus of the film, Hall said.

"I'm going to do everything I can to make sure the alumni look great. We're all products of the academy, and the academy does a really good job of developing people's character," he said. "I don't want to show dirty laundry." (Baltimore Sun)

Now this sounds like a film that is respectful of the service and one I definitely won't miss.

(this is also posted over on Gay Patriot)


Unknown said...

Thanks - I hadn't seen this before and the links helped me get the interview form. I am a member of USNAOut and Naval Academy graduate, class of 1966.

JohnAGJ said...

Cool! Thanks for your service, especially under more-than-necessary circumstances.