Gay marine opts for path ‘out’ – Jeff Key, now of Salt Lake City, stars in play recounting his decision to leave service
Posted on March 31, 2008
Filed Under Gay News Blog
The salad hasn’t even arrived on our table, but already Jeff Key knows more about me than any of his fellow Marines were allowed to know about him.
“We’ve been talking for five minutes and I know that you’ve got a wife and a daughter,” Key says in a smooth Alabama drawl. “Those are just the kind of things that men talk about.”
Key’s observation belies a fundamental flaw with the military’s so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for homosexual soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines. The men with whom he went to war were supposed to trust him with their lives – but he wasn’t supposed to trust them with his secret.
Key, an Iraq war veteran, anti-war activist and now-discharged Marine, tells his story in a one-man play, “The Eyes of Babylon,” which opens at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, in his adopted town of Salt Lake City, on Thursday. A documentary based on the play, called “Semper Fi: One Marine’s Journey” will play at the Tower Theater on Monday.
It didn’t take long for the Marines who served with Key at Camp Pendleton, in southern California, to realize he was keeping something from them. “I certainly didn’t endeavor to come out to people,” Key says. “But, you know, I got pushed a lot. One guy was always asking me, ‘Why don’t you have a girlfriend?’ and ‘Why don’t you tell us what you’re doing this weekend?’” ee Gay marine opts for path ‘out’
Salt Lake Tribune
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