Gay military campaigner Dan Choi hospitalised
Gay rights campaigner Dan Choi has been hospitalised following a breakdown.
The Iraq veteran, who became the most visible face in the fight to repeal the US ban on out gay soldiers, said he was in the care of a military hospital.
In an email to LGBT bloggers Rex Wockner and Pam Spaulding, he wrote: “I was involuntarily committed to the Brockton MA Veterans Hospital Psychiatric Ward on Friday Morning after experiencing a breakdown and anxiety attack.”
He continued: “I did not initially want to publicise this but I now realise it is critical for our community to know several things: veterans gay or straight carry human burdens. . .
“Activists share similar burdens, no activist should be portrayed as super human, and the failures of government and national lobbying carry consequences far beyond the careers and reputations of corporate leaders, elected officials, high powered lobbyists or political elites. They ruin lives.”
Lt Choi said he attributed his breakdown in part to the “composite betrayals” of “elected leaders and gay organisations” and the stress of being a public figure.
“I am certain my experience is not an isolated incident within the gay veteran community,” he said, while thanking the “hospitality and leadership” of close friends.
Autumn Sandeen, a trans veteran who joined a number of Lt Choi’s protests, said he had done the “responsible thing”.
Writing on the Pam’s House Blend website, she said: “He’s lived through combat; he’s taken upon himself a fight against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell for what he hopes will be the benefit of the broad LGBT community. Those are some big stressors Dan has taken upon himself.
“I’ve watched as politicians treat lesbian, gay, and bisexual veterans as if they are political footballs instead of qualified, honorable servicemembers who are prepared to die for their country.
“I’m sure Dan personally feels treated as less than fully human by many politicians in Washington. Dan’s bravery and strength have limitations, and it now appears that he’s ran into some of those limits.”