Aaron rented Soldier's Girl (I posted a clip at the end of this post) from Netflix. My gay husband, Matt, who is a friend of both Aaron and myself, actually suggested that I watch this movie about a year ago when I house sat for him. He assured me I would love it but I never made it around to watching it. The film is a true story based in Fort Cambell, Kentucky on the military base. Aaron was a military man prior to coming out and was based at Fort Cambell so the story immediately struck a cord with him. At first, I could tell it was fun for him to see the places and things that he had done way back when. He said he had heard about a young gay man being beaten severely with a baseball bat prior to his coming to base. That story made him even more afraid of his comrades finding him out and he remained deep in the closet during his time on base. I have seen photos of him during his time at Fort Cambell and even my gaydar would not have sounded.
The movie started out easy enough. The main character is a straight man, Barry Winchell, who is doing his basic training at Fort Cambell. Barry goes out one night, at the urging of his friends, to a bar and meets a male-to-female transgendered performer named Calpernia Addams. The 2 began dating immediately. Barry has a roommate that questions his own sexuality while being disgusted with Barry for doing the same. The roommate starts to spread rumors, Barry is ridiculed on base and questioned by sargents. This is not a happy, feel-good ending wrapped up in 2 hours or less. Let's just say that Aaron's story of that poor boy who was beaten is explained when you see Soldier's Girl. Barry Winchell was that boy and he was not just beaten but beaten to death. We discovered after having watched the movie and seeing the dates and outcome at the end that Aaron was there when this horrible crime took place. He could have been Barry Winchell.
bigot (to protect the guilty hater): i dont like the idea of a gay guy next to me in combat
me: I am not sure I understand why being a gay man has anything to do with saving a life or protecting a country. I say if (bigot name here) doesn't like the idea of going in with gay back-up then go in alone. It's your choice. And I hate to tell ya but gay men (and women) have been surving our military for years (all the while hiding who they are). They can get shot at protecting our country and the right of others to hate and degrade them but they can't and don't have the same RIGHTS that the rest of us do. It is a sick society when one person feels good to bring another down just because of what they do in their own bedroom. Homophobia is a disgusting and ugly trait born out of fear and ignorance.
bigot: well they belong in the chow hall cooking my food or behind a desk. its against my religion an i dont agree with it
me: I hope you don't ever have to live the experience of having someone close to you, whom you love very deeply, encounter the type of bigotry and hate that you are willing to opening display on the internet. Please don't use a loving God as your pulpit for hate. (I actually made this my FB headline for the day!)
At this point, little bigot's friend (our mutual FB friend) said: oh wow this is getting a little heated...the whole point in debate is the fact that people believe in diff things... just because we dont believe in the same things doesnt mean hes wrong that is his opinion (Did I mention she has a gay sister serving in our military?)
me: It is like the saying; What Would Jesus Do? I feel it is a disrespect to a loving God to use him as an excuse to hate. I have a gay sister, you have a gay sister, your Aunt Robin has a gay daughter. I think when your own family is hated on it makes you see more clearly. I was simply cautioning (bigot) on USING God and abusing others in his good name. I wish all the best for (poor little bigot) and I truly hope he never has to witness his own hate being taken out on his family or friends. I woudln't wish that upon my worst enemy. It hurts more than he will ever understand.
Now the bigot of the day didn't respond and clearly his friend felt the need to defend him but not her sister. Maybe I was over the line. I was a gay defender before my sister came out. I was loving Matt and Aaron and had my very own gay following by the time she told me she was gay so I hate it when people say the that my gay sister is the reason I love the gays so. It is just NOT true. I believe things happen for a reason. This correspondence with the little bigot happened just HOURS before I saw Soldier's Girl. I had just witnessed out and out bigotry displayed openly on the internet for all to see. This boy had no shame in his opinion and that is a problem for me. As you can imagine I was completely fired up by the movie's end. Aaron was visibly devastated by the story and the closeness to home, if you will. He didn't sleep that night much and has brought it up to me a few times since then.
Here is a link to Soldier's Girl:
Click here if you would like to see what happened to the animals that did this to Barry. I caution you, it was not enough.
I am off to write the president...