During World War II, U.S. military policy regarding gay and lesbian soldiers is unforgiving. Director Arthur Dong\'s look into these policies reveals the harsh punishments inflicted on homosexual soldiers, which included dishonorable discharges that prevented the collection of benefits. This documentary focuses on nine members of the armed forces, using interviews and clips to explore sexual repression in the military and the possible punishments these soldiers could face.
At the start of the film the Joint Chiefs of Staff are shown stating unequivocally their belief that military service and homosexuality are incompatible. And just as unequivocally, the film sets out to prove that this position is the extension of a long and unconscionable tradition of institutional discrimination by the U.S. military against homosexuals dating back, at least, to World War II. Using a collage of newsreel footage, photographs, footage from psychiatric sessions, medical examinations, sex education lectures and other declassified footage, plus first hand interviews with nine gay veterans, they trace the evolution of the military\'s attitude. The film picks up just after Pearl Harbor, when, in an effort to screen out undesirables from the rush of young volunteers eager to join the war effort, homosexuals were lumped in the same category as mental defectives and criminals.
Please join us for this important film and discussion on the history of gays in the military.