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GLBT Military Service Subject of New Historical Exhibit


A new exhibit opening on Friday at the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco aims to document the many gays and lesbians who have served since World War II in our nation's military.

MatlovichtombThe exhibit features dozens of artifacts, according to the San Jose Mercury News, including "the footlocker Leonard Matlovich took to Vietnam, before he fought the Air Force to serve openly as a gay soldier in the 1970s, temporarily installing him as perhaps the most prominent gay person in America" and "one of the distinctive blue certificates issued to soldiers who were discharged for being gay during World War II - an indelible mark that prevented many from ever returning home. Many stayed in coastal cities, seeding gay communities in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles." Matlovich's tomb inscription is pictured here.

And who is the Navy stud above? Find out after the jump...

It's slain San Francisco Supervisor and gay rights icon Harvey Milk, who served in the Navy on the U.S.S. Chanticleer during the Korean War.

Said curator Steve Estes: "Our target audience is not just the gay community. If we forget the long history of gay military service, then we are less likely to view gays and lesbians as full citizens, deserving of civil rights and equal protection of the law."

More from the San Francisco Chronicle....

Out Ranks: GLBT Military Service from WWII to the Iraq War [official site]

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  1. You don't name a ship U.S.S. Chanticleer and then refuse to let gay men on board. That's just asking for trouble.

    Posted by: 24play | Jun 12, 2007 4:42:23 PM

  2. It's good to read about this exhibit. I don't think the gay community honors our heros like Milk and Matlovich and all of the gay men and lesbians who have served our country nearly enough.

    Posted by: Jim Kelly | Jun 13, 2007 6:54:48 AM

  3. Great Post! For gay pride month, anyone here who wants a terrific documentary to share with your young queer friends, you must rent (or download) "The Time of Harvey Milk." It won the Academy Award for best doc. in 1984. Harvey Milk was way ahead of his time.

    Posted by: Mark Hutt | Jun 13, 2007 7:55:55 AM

  4. Jim Kelly, you took the words right out of my mouth.

    Know your history boys and girls!

    If you don't know who these people are Google them. Get to know GLBT history and GLBT historical figures.

    If our community doesn't get in touch with our past we will have NO chance of having a future.

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 13, 2007 9:43:30 AM

  5. Chanticleer has got to be the gayest name ever , for anything. Chanticleer is the name of a cock (rooster) in a medieval story, in case you di'n't know.

    Posted by: Christopher | Jun 15, 2007 2:59:16 AM

  6. Excellent story. I really wish we would hear more such news.

    I'm so sick of stories and portrayals that play to the gay stereotype. If you don't WANT to play sports, be a mechanic or a soldier or whatever... fine. Just quit telling young gay men that gay men CAN'T be or do those things.

    I have to say that having watched a lot of *gay produced* media, our "community" is just as guilty of stereotyping as straight people.

    By all means, be yourself... BUT don't limit yourself by some idiotic preconceived social conception.

    Posted by: Dean | Jun 15, 2007 4:01:30 AM

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