Silent Military Partners Speak Out
Last Thursday, gay veterans and their partners gathered to share stories and offer support. From television shows to newspapers to online resources, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” continues to be a popular topic of discussion and debate. However, rarely do we take a glimpse of life from a military partners’ perspective. Last year, Showtime first shined light about military spouses or partners in the romantic story line between Alice and Tasha on The L Word. Last week, a new documentary premiered –“Silent Partners” – giving us an even closer look at the lives of three gay military spouses.
Directed by a gay activist and journalist, Ben Cartwright, “Silent Partners” offers personal, heartfelt stories of struggle and conflict as partners seek to be hidden. After falling in love with someone in the military, Cartwright found himself back in the closet. The other stories depicted in the 30 minute video share the story of Lt. Daniel Choi and a solider waiting to read about her partner’s mission before she too is deployed to Iraq.
At the screening at Sony Pictures Studios’ Backstage Theatre in Culver City last week, the film was introduced by Lt. Daniel Choi, who was discharged from the Army after announcing he was gay on “The Rachel Maddow Show” last March. Choi is only one of the 13,000 men and women have been discharged from the armed forces because of their sexual orientation since “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” took effect in 1994. Today, they begin to speak out about their experiences and call for legislative action.
Last month, Abe Forman-Greenwald, producer and editor of documentary films “In Their Boots,” shares his challenges as a military partner in an Op-Ed, featured on the New York Times Web site. The “In Their Boots” documentary has increased visibility of gay rights and gays in the military. The timely premiere of “Silent Partners” launches as LGBT activists press President Obama to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The topic of military partners has already gained momentum online and in print. In the past month, “Don’t ask. Don’t tell” has generated more than 20,000 news stories. Of those stories, 250 discussed the experience of gay partners to military men and women, including videos/articles in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press.
To preview “Silent Partners” and other episodes, visit www.intheirboots.com.
Check out the video and let us know your thoughts on recent news coverage on this topic!