The Air Force and
the Primitive "H"
(Human Behavior, Aug. '73)
As high and mighty defenders
of "red blooded manhood," air
force officials look benignly upon
heterosexual love. But the man-
to-man variety snaps the jail doors
shut. Dr. John A. Chiles, a University of Wisconsin psychiatry
resident, argues that outmoded,
harsh punishments for homosexual
men are hurting both the air force
and the people involved. Emphasis
is on "administrative segregation" (the stockage) and purging
all deviants from the hup-two-
ranks regardless of emotional
stability, loyalty, degree of sexual
control or work competence.
Since no exact definition of
homosexuality appears in air force
rules, intoxicated men who go so
far as to buss a buddy have been
thrown into prison while the bureaucracy cranks up in an effort
to discharge them. Men may be
detained for months in solitary as
their case is "investigated."
Meanwhile, a captive' s moral
plummets. A code H can even be
placed on an inspection record
attached to the prisoner's door,
spurring other prisoners to taunt
and ridicule the man.
UNEVEN JUSTICE. In air force
eyes, there are two classes of
homosexuals. Officers branded
with the scarlet H can resign
"for the good of the service."
If they want to fight the charge,
they may present expert medical
and psychiatric testimony. Medical authorities, in fact, can take
over entire disposition of the officers' cases. But for enlistedper-
sonnel, regulations do not permit
medical opinion to take precedence over administrative rulings.
It seems that for the bigwigs,
sexual preference is a medical
matter, but for ordinary air force
men, it's nothing but a disciplinary issue.
"Puntitive attitudes are needle s sly expres sed, and useful
personnel are excluded from the
service they may wish to render."
Dr. Chiles maintains. He recommends that homosexual prisoners
be accorded minimum custody
status. The distinction between
officers and enlisted men should
be removed, so psychiatrists
retain the power of medical intervention in all cases. Further,
homosexuals should be carefully
defined as those who "exclusively
and preferentially seek same sex
gratification." Current air force
policy pontificates that homosexual behavior is ' 'a debasement
of high moral standards." Instead
of dishing out rhetoric, air force
officials should consider the men
involved as individuals, and approach their futures accordingly.
"The contention that all persons
with homosexual behavior should
be excluded from the Air Force
is at least a debatable one. Such
a group includes many who are
emotionally stable, loyal and capable of rendering good service,"
Dr. Chiles insists.
Gay Activists and
(Human Behavior, Aug. '73)
Martin Rogers and Barbara Bryant, gay activists, have an effective technique for giving the
general public a taste of what it's
like to be homosexual in our soc
iety. They chose two female volunteers from their lecture audience and ask them to play the part
of a gay couple. Then Rogers and
Bryant, tongue firmly in cheek,
play Mr. and Mrs. Straight.
Rogers sets the scene for the
volunteers with a certain amount
of relish. "A married couple
you're friendly with has invited you
to dinner," he told a young woman
recently at the Western Psychological Association Convention.
"They tell you to bring a date,
and you show up with her."
As the well-meaning hosts, Rogers and Bryant serve up cocktails with a goodly share of put-
downs. "You might have warned us
so we'd have known," Bryant admonished the ' 'guests." ' 'After
all, the children might have been
up ... . Have you been this way
Rogers beamed in the spirit of
liberal benevolence. "I'm ready
and interested in learning and
I'm open to this, but you've got
to realize--this is the first time
this has happened in our home."
The scene illustrates what Rogers dubs "homophobia, the irrational anxiety reaction many heterosexuals experience when in the
presence of a homosexual." The
term, and the attitude that it's
time for heterosexuals to start
dealing with their own fears about
sexual orientation, characterizes
the growing gay activist movement
in the field of psychology. Rogers,
an associate professor of psychology at California State University, Sacramento, and Bryant,
a psychology graduate student at
the same school, have founded the
Association of Gay Psychologists,
a national organization with some
They and other gay therapists,
who appeared on a panel at the
recent convention, are running a
speakers' bureau, encounter
groups and counseling services --
all of which operate off the fundamental assumption that homosexuality is a valid alternative
for all human beings, not an illness that must be masked from
The activists most in the public
eye are the trained speakers, like
Rogers andBryant, whodiscussthe
gay movement before local groups.
Last year, the Sacramento Gay
Speakers' Bureau filled 200 speaking engagements, leaving Rogers
and Bryant rather experienced in
handling a potentially sticky situation.
Audiences are so unwilling to
listen with open minds, said
Rogers, that a speaker who makes
one wrong move will be written
off by his listeners. Therefore,
they discourage introductions that
play upon stereotypes or pay tribute to ' 'these extremely brave
and courageous people." A speaking team is always composed of one
male and one female, who make
a point of telling anecodotes from
their childhood, schooling and careers. "We tell them we're somebody's son or daughter, or somebody's father," said Rogers.
Most important, they try to
answer even insulting questions
without a trace of hostility. "When
we first started speaking," said
Rogers, "our anger flowed outina
way that flattened our audience.
We've since learned to rein in our
anger, because we're more interested in reaching people than in
feeling good about ourselves."
Frequently they resort to role-
playing techniques to answer
This is your ticket
for f UN & EXCITEMENT !
S462 DENTON DR. CUT OFF DALLAS. TEXAS
BEST DANCE FLOOR
- LIGHT SHOW
BEST MUSIC & SOUND
(LIQUOR 6, BEER)
9 MOST FRIENDLY PEOPLE
LARGE ENOUGH TO provide fun & EXCITEMENT for you and to accomodate
SMALL ENOUGH TO APPRECIATE YOUR PATRONAGE AND TO WELCOME YOU PERSONALLY ! DOWNTOWN DALLAS