Opening Night


The opening reception was a great success. Everyone raved about the exhibit. I think it’s one of the best we’ve ever done, it is certainly the best since I’ve been here. So I thought I’d continue with another little lesson about sex in World War II.

During World War II social bias on the increase authority of psychiatric and scientific logic, the military chose to exclude homosexuals from the military because it was considered a mental illness, and it was believed that they would hurt the productivity of the armed forces. The military used an unreliable screening process through military psychiatrists in determining if an individual was homosexual or not. Some psychiatrists did not enforce their screening, which let homosexuals into the military. Also, homosexuals simply lied to psychiatrists about their sexual orientation and were able to get into the armed forces. Anti-homosexual policies because homosexuals were very much part of the military. Homosexuality was a crime according to the military and punishable by prison. But because military prisons already held more than capacity, a new discharge system was used instead essentially kicking out homosexuals from the armed service. Using mental illness again as an excuse, the military was able to justify discharging homosexual GIs from the military.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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