Main | Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lt. Dan Choi: The Bad Lieutenant

This week's Village Voice cover story is an exhaustive look at the life and activism career of Lt. Dan Choi, whom author Steven Thrasher describes as personifying "the growing rift between gay-rights activists who want to cooperate with lobbyists and elected officials, and those who demand direct action." An excerpt:
There's no doubt that when Choi came out last March on MSNBC as a gay soldier, he helped take the movement to a whole new level. "When he appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show, he was very buttoned-down, very conservative, very professional—and clear as a bell," says Rick Jacobs, leader of a group fighting California's anti-gay Proposition 8, The Courage Campaign. But Choi isn't buttoned-down anymore. There are many across the political spectrum who wish the lieutenant would be quiet once in a while. He angered the right by appearing as the grand marshal at last year's San Francisco and New York Gay Pride parades, where, as he puts it, he was gleefully "breaking 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' all up and down the street!" (In uniform.) He has angered the left by not being lockstep antiwar enough at times, and by warmly welcoming Ken Mehlman, Bush's campaign manager, to the gayborhood when he came out. In a movement awash with political correctness, Choi decidedly isn't.
Read Steven Thrasher's entire piece, it's worth the time.

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