From WWII To DADT
One of the biggest LGBT literary trends of the past 15 months is also an important talking point in contemporary mainstream politics: gays and the military. From acclaimed WWII biographies to critical investigations of DADT to books on gender and war to romantic tales of service men and women, here is a sample of the military-inspired books that crossed our desk this year.
Lambda Award finalist, Nathaniel Frank, was designated as the first expert witness for a historic Constitutional challenge to the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The federal trial, which is being brought by Log Cabin Republicans and tried pro-bono by White & Case LLP in Riverside, CA, began this week (July 14) with Frank’s testimony across two days. W&C’s lead attorney, Dan Woods, asked Frank to take the Court through a century of history about how gays have been treated in the military, to show that the current exclusionary policy was based on nothing more than prejudice and has failed to achieve any legitimate government purpose. (Read more about Log Cabin Republics vs US here.)
How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America
To put it bluntly, members of today’s American military—whether on the home front or serving abroad—are quite literally living under the gun. They face persistent hostility, risking life and limb on a daily basis, and strive to do their job in spite of shrinking stateside public support. Yet in spite of the numerous dangers encountered by military personnel, conservative pundits, congresspersons from both sides of the aisle, and top military brass overwhelmingly maintain—without a trace of irony—that the most pressing and pervasive threat to the American military is the presence of homosexuals in the ranks, and they want to make absolutely sure that homosexuals are forever banned from performing military service. (more…)
Last week, the American Library Association (ALA) announced the winners of the 2010 Stonewall Book Awards. The Stonewall Book Awards Committee of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table announced the three winners including David Francis for his “gritty” Soviet Union tale, Stray Dog Winter; Nathaniel Frank‘s timely history of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Unfriendly Fire; and Nick Burd‘s debut novel, The Vast Fields of Ordinary — marking the first time such an award was given for Young Adult and children’s literature.