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Interview: Dan Choi on ‘direct action’ gay rights campaigning

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  1. Thanks for the inspiring interview. As Robert Michels pointed out long ago, even supposedly revolutionary organisations just become self-serving oligarchies.

    The gay rights groups are just the same.

  2. I appreciate his independence. Sometimes I feel that gay rights groups believe they own you. They don’t. They may speak on behalf of the issues, and that should be appreciated. But they don’t pre-empt any individual’s right to speak for oneself.

  3. Dan did have a role in the overall struggle to get the repeal act passed, but his time has passed. Having had a breakdown that put him unconscious for three days is certainly medically disqualifying to return to active duty service, let alone his behavior while in uniform. Why is is delusional that he will be able to return to the Army is either sad or yet another show.

    1. Staircase2 15 Mar 2011, 3:30pm

      lol ‘delusional’…….?
      The only delusion here is the idea that people should be treated differently from one another and valued less simply because of their sexuality

  4. Having experienced first-hand in California the ridiculous, totally inept Equality CA campaign to fight against passage of Prop 8, I can attest to the insulation and hubris of some gay rights organizations. By any reasonable measure, Dan Choi is a hero, and his tactics personalized the issue on a gut-level that could not be ignored. It may not be “PC” to express anger, but sometimes it’s the only thing that works.

    Dan paid a personal price for his involvement. Thanks Dan! Stay healthy.

  5. ‘For some Lt Dan Choi will remain a controversial figure. I have to lay my cards on the table and say that in my eyes he is nothing short of a hero.’
    And for me too.

  6. “As a Korean-American growing up with the Asian stereotype of asexual, good-at-math, bad-at-parking, effeminate boys, I wanted to be seen as a masculine, heroic, patriotic American.”

    And of course the main definition of the latter is to put on a uniform, learn to use weapons, and then go abroad and kill other people’s children. Makes a man of you. The people of Afghanistan and Iraq have done nothing to us, but in our name people like this volunteer to commit genocide.

    I’ll take the Asian good-at-math, bad-at-parking, effeminate boys ANY day, thank you.

    1. Thanks Adam.

      Dan seems to have an identity problem I feel sory for him. He probally wants to be a 6ft blond with blue eyes

      1. LOL. No doubt.

        1. He knows who he is and he doesn’t have to hide behind a computer to be brave, every soldier is someone’s child anyway

          1. As a Korean-American growing up with the Asian stereotype of asexual, good-at-math, bad-at-parking, effeminate boys, I wanted to be seen as a masculine, heroic, patriotic American.”
            He reckons that effeminate Asian men are not good enough to be patritic americans. The effeminate men are someones child too.

      2. Staircase2 15 Mar 2011, 3:33pm

        none of us have any idea if that is true – thats just inflammatory bollocks

        James you should be ashamed of yourself – you know better

        1. Dan Filson 16 Mar 2011, 9:48am


    2. Staircase2 15 Mar 2011, 3:32pm

      agreed (Im a pacifist)

      but ALL stereotypes need to be challenged – and Dan Choi has been good at challenging several of them in one go – THAT’S my kind of hero :o)

      1. Challenge them for the sake of it rather than being true to himself. He had a breakdown you know and you guys put all this pressure on him to be a “hero” give the guy a break

  7. @James – can’t reply directly sadly,
    you want him to fit into the stereotypes then? and then when him and others does then you’ll be happy

    1. Staircase2 15 Mar 2011, 3:46pm

      James is seeing this thru the filters of his own experiences and issues (which we all do)

      The healthy thing to do, however, is to make sure we do that with the understanding that we limit the projection we put onto others as far as is possible and that we also have an understanding that the world as we see it is just that – just the world as we see it.

      Oppression messes people up – and the more layers of oppression someone has experienced/endured the more likely they are to be multipli messed up

      …Dan Choi and James and me are no exceptions to that…

      1. Staircase2 15 Mar 2011, 3:49pm

        ps did you know you can’t say F’d up on here?
        I tried replacing letters with * in that time honoured and F’ing irritatingly adolescent way and it still wouldnt allow me to post until I had replaced it with the word ‘messed up’.

        So now you know! lol

        Sleep well, playmates! Big Brother is alive and F’ing kicking us all in the testicles (or ovaries!)

    2. I’d rather him be himself rather than defining his self by what he’s not and slagging of effm guys at the same time. I think he’s a bit of a dick

    3. Chester. That is such a dumb comment I want him to respect the stereotypes too. Why are the effem guys always treated like crap?

      1. Well done, James. Choi is self hating. And he hates life. That’s why he put on a uniform and went to kill without any just cause. He’s just like the rest of the “straight acting and straight looking” brigade – riddled with internalised homophobia.

        And Chester, you’re just confused.

        Someone who arrives armed in someone else’s country and kills men, women and children in order to “liberate” them is a prize piece of toss. It’s not brave. His sexuality is incidental as far as I’m concerned. I don’t like what he stands for, and the way he runs down other guys from his community.

        And as this is an internet forum, a computer is the only way for me to post my opinions. I’m at home doing so. Which psychiatric ward are you posting yours from?

        1. Who says he’s killed kids? ever heard of armchair warriors? those who feel brave on the pc to attack others for doing stuff they never would – eg you and other cowards
          he isn’t self-hating etc

          1. You’re the armchair warrior, Chester. For those of us who sent money we didn’t really have to support a couple of families in Iraq, and sat at a webcam each week and watched incendiaries going off through the windows behind them, you are the epitome of cowardice and detached warmongering.

  8. To any of you who wish to make Dan Choi the posterboy for American “imperialism”- shame on you. You may not like American hegemony, but what have you got to replace it- Russian, Chinese Communist, Islamo-fascist/Iranian or what?? Or do you really expect the EU to mount a continuous campaign to keep Western values and societies safe? Thankfully the political leadership in the UK is a bit more realistic and practical.

    Dan Choi was willing to put his life on the line for his country- he is a hero.

    1. That’s like saying that Fred West was a hero because he risked his freedom to kill all those women.

      Why do you have to replace American hegemony with something else? How about a genuinely free world, countries trading successfully and in balance with each other, and helping their less rich neighbours along the way?

      How about an end to the theft of others’ resources?

      1. I’ve not read such absolute rubbish on here for ages! Thankfully there are people – such as Dan Choi – who are prepared to go and fight for or uphold other peoples’ human rights. I suppose that Adam is one of those who, had they been born earlier in the 20th century would have been prepared to stand by, not take up arms and do nothing to oppose Hitler and the oppressed of Europe …?

        1. Patrick I feel sick even responding to your blinkered facist rubbish. The only human right held up was americans right to cheap petrol you dumb fcuk. Gay people were safer under saddam you sack of sh*t

          1. Thanks, James. We attacked the most progressive and liberal country in the middle east, simply to steal their oil and to appease the bloodlust of a father and son president who stole votes and bypassed every civilised legality connected with going to war.

            Whichever era I had been born in, Patrick, I certainly wouldn’t have been a sheep. Bush and Blair ARE the Hitlers of our time, genocidal war criminals of epic proportions. The Chois of the world validate and expedite their crimes. I’d prefer it if he were straight… but as I told Terry Stewart the other day, he doesn’t represent me just because he is gay.

  9. Whether you approve or disapprove of the military is a discussion for another time and place. The key point is that Dan has done an enormous amount, and at great personal cost, to help end official government discrimination.

    That can only merit praise. I bet he’s done and achieved far more to bring about gay equality than most people who post here, myself included.

    So for me, his effort and success means that he’s certainly a hero.

    1. It’s true Americans are dumb

      1. I take that back not all americans are dumb that was very rude but Gerry you are a muel

  10. Dan Filson 16 Mar 2011, 9:53am

    Remember too Sergeant Matlovich. Google him, youngsters. It takes courage to throw your military career away.

    By the way, “I had an epiphany in Iraq waiting for a helicopter. I was in the most dangerous area of the world, 58 people from my brigade had been killed and I had a million dollars in cash in my backpack for the reconstruction effort.” What in tarnation was the million dollars doing in cash in his backpack. Do you wonder the reconstruction did not go to plan if it was given out in cash from Lieutenants’ backpacks. I might have debunked to Honolulu!

    1. LOL!

      If this was the accountant of the operation, we’re all in deeper trouble than I thought. He’s something of a fantastist, so I doubt he had a million dollars in his backpack.

  11. WHat happened after Saddam’s downfall can’t be laid at any one soldiers feet and @Adam – you weren’t there as a soldier were you?
    I don’t agree with warmongering anyway

    1. Chester, have you noticed how our brave boys never take on a nuclear power like North Korea?

      The reason we (and the Americans) have the reputation for having a “great army” is that like all successful school bullies, we always pick fights we can win.

      Choi could have been shelling peas for all I know, but assisting in a genocide and theft effort is not my idea of a gay hero.

      1. Here here Adam.

    2. , I wanted to be seen as a masculine, heroic, patriotic American

      He wants to be the new gay poster boy with this new macho attitude maybe he is more mysogonistic than gay

      1. Yes, I go with your theory.

        If we’re going to embrace the notion of role models at all, they have to be positive and self-affirming. I’m afraid Choi is not!

        Some men are naturally less expressive and introspective, and therefore seen as ‘straight-acting’, and others are more reflective or lyrical and perceived as fitting they gay mould. But these are largely stereotypes given to us by the media. People are what they are. You don’t have to kill to prove to the world that you can like ass and not be Mr Humphries (although Mr Humphries did more for gay visibility than Rock Hudson and Montgomery Clift ever did.)

        Don’t ask, don’t tell?

        I prefer the ideas of Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed ‘serving’ in Iraq…

        1. he is positive and affirming – look at what he’s done including to equality for LBGT folk

      2. are you self-hating? what’s wrong with being a hero or a patriot?

  12. Dan we love you and we want you to be our leader to help lead gay people to victory over the haters who want to stop us from getting married.

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