Although I support completely the right to expression, I do question this when it is used to exemplify self-interest and that which is in poor taste.
Your 'lifestyle' choice is fine; it is your decision, it does not harm either yourself or others (hopefully) but I do question whether it is appropriate to exemplify this through your professional (sic) standing. In one sense it is not dissimilar to a senior manager of say, Barclay's Bank or Shell Oil using his employer's name publicly to pursue his own personal interests: riding on another's back, so to speak - a somewhat perverse form of self-aggrandisement at the expense of his/her employer. In this case, the US Navy.
I personally take exception both as a former US Navy Line Officer but more so as a civil libertarian who sees little relevance in your self-exposure as a homosexual naval officer at the expense of the profession as a whole. I should think that having achieved the rank of commander you would have come to understand something of the nature of discretion and respect of one's office and what it represents in the public sense, and one's position in authority. These are qualities that one seeks to encourage in one's subordinates in the chain of command - or are they?
As a one-time 'sea lawyer' trained in Newport to advise both Command and personnel in matters of the UCMJ while afloat during the horrid Viet Nam exploit, I came to appreciate the necessity of maintaining a balanced and objective view of one's responsibilities in execution of my duties.
I am not particularly proud of having been party to the murder of countless thousands of people in an illegal and immoral military power play by our government madmen. Part of the execution of my duties however, was also to represent my uniform in a positive light, placing my own personal interests elsewhere. It was this understanding that resulted in the crew of my 497ft ship developing a trust and respect for me as a person and as an officer, far exceeding what any 'official' manual of conduct might try to impose. After all, actions do speak louder than words.
Such actions as you are presenting representing your own narrow view of 'right' I (respectfully, Sir) I suggest are both counter-productive and a distortion of the concept of freedom of expression.
(He inserted his initials and former title here)
Below is my response:
I am sorry to have taken so long to respond to your missive. Things are crazy at the moment.
First, let me thank you for your service. I value and appreciate your patriotism, even if it was in support of an inappropriate war.
I do, though, take issue with some of your comments.
First, I think you should ask yourself if in your experience you really did learn the, " necessity of maintaining a balanced and objective view..." If you had read my profile (author's note: in that profile I list a series of questions on topics that confuse me, guys who claim to be tops but then show pictures of their butts, for example) closely, you would have noticed that at no point did I state that my comments are anything other opinion, my opinion, to be exact. I make no insinuation that my 'right' is any more right than that of another. It seems odd that you assail me for my, "own narrow view of 'right'...", suggesting it is a, '...distortion of the concept of freedom of expression.' Isn't that an assault on my right to freedom of expression? You are being more than a tad hypocritical.
As to using a picture of myself in uniform ( Author's note: like wearing a tuxedo, it is pretty hard to look bad in a set of chocker whites, aren't we supposed to show our best when on a dating site?), I am proud, very, of my service. I've worn the uniform for nearly 33 years. It is my opinion that you must harbor a deep sense of internalized homophobia if you believe that by openly declaring myself as, 'a homosexual naval officer...' it is, '...at the expense of the profession as a whole.' If this were Match.com or some other straight website, you'd not question my choice of profile picture. Perhaps it has escaped your notice that there are websites devoted to people seeking to date both gay and straight members of the military.
I have spent my entire adult life in service of protecting people's right of freedom of expression and other so-called American values. God willing, I will continue to do so.
Actions do speak louder than words. I respectfully submit that perhaps you should consider your actions in questioning my right of free expression by sharing my opinion in my profile and using a picture of myself in uniform. Part of leadership is leading by example. Of all of the comments I've received, other than yours and one other, the vast majority have been positive, including from some very young sailors, soldiers, Marines, airmen, and Coasties. It is those opinions I value. They are the future. You and I are the past.
So, gentle readers, I seek your opinion. Is it wrong to include a picture of myself in uniform in profile on a gay dating site?
Sigh, I thought this crap was over.
At least, that is what THIS DADDY thinks.
Anchors Aweigh, 1944
Warner Home Video (DVD)
|Release date(s)||July 14, 1945|