JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Gay troops unite!

So the move to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” stalled in the Senate earlier today—and I want to vomit.

It’d be easy to blame John McCain, the limp-dicked Arizona senator whose transformation from brash and brave to a pathetic, sad, aged piece of spineless snail is now complete. It’d be easy to blame Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate Majority Leader who all but begged Republicans (even two from Maine who support lifting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) to block debate on the bill—the annual authorization of military programs—by, according to the Times, “promising he would attach a number of the Democrats’ election-year priorities to it while also moving to limit the amendments offered by Republicans.” (Reid, for the record, is my least-favorite political figure of all time. Worse than George W. Bush. Worse than Sarah Palin. The. Absolute. Worst. I honestly hope Crazy Sharron Angle kicks his ass by 20 points, because he deserves it). It’d be easy to blame all the conservatives—Republicans and Democrats—who somehow think it’s fair to practice discrimination at a time when we desperately need troops.

Personally, I blame the gay troops.

You are now serving a country that doesn’t love, like or respect you. You cannot be yourself, because we don’t want you to be yourself. So you hide. You cower. You pretend to like the opposite sex because you have longed to be a part of the Army/Navy/Air Force/Marines, and now you are directly responsible for your own plight.

Want to make a difference in this world? A genuine difference? Want to take part in the most courageous movement of your lifetime? Come out. Now. All of you. It’s easy for politicians to say no to the gays … until suddenly 10,000 members of the armed service are leaving. Then what? Answer: Then they need you. They want you. They realize this country can’t survive in Iraq and Afghanistan without you. You are important and vital and essential, dammit.

I know … I know. Coming out ain’t easy. But neither is staying in. Right now, there’s a chance to make true Civil Rights history.

Right now.