New barracks reading: Gay military magazine hits shelves

Having some direct experience myself, one thing that I can tell you for sure about the military is that when the time comes to embrace change, (no, not that kind of change) they snap off a crisp salute and get down to business. Whether it was the ages old orders for racial integration or the adoption of the latest piece of technology, when the time came to jump into something new, the military’s only answer has traditionally been, “how high, sir?” That’s why this probably shouldn’t come as any surprise. With the ink barely dry on the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the Army and the Air Force have approved the sale of a magazine specifically for gay military members.

With the military on the verge of allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly, Army and Air Force officials have approved the distribution of a magazine targeting gay service members at bases starting next month.

OutServe Magazine will hit store shelves at Army and Air Force bases on Sept. 20, the day the Pentagon plans to formally end enforcement of the “don’t ask, don’tI tell” policy that bans gays from serving openly.

The publication is published by OutServe, a group of secretly gay active duty service members that says it has hundreds of members currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

News networks are reporting today that the first openly available issue will include the names of more than one hundred gay service members currently serving. I was completely unaware of the existence of this publication until now, but it seems that it’s been around for a while, circulating in a more secretive fashion. (And, I’m sure, not so quick to list the names of active duty members.)

Exit question(s): You can already find a host of publications geared toward members of the military on topics ranging from hunting and fishing to photography. But I seriously doubt anyone is ever going to be worried that their commander will find out they like hooking lake trout. What happens if a new Commander in Chief takes charge and, as some candidates have hinted, moves to repeal the repeal and reinstate DADT? What happens to the people who willingly listed their names in this magazine? I mean, it’s not as if they were legalizing marijuana or something. In that case the service member could simply claim that they had quit since their names were published. But I don’t think any of them could really claim to have “gone straight” prior to the reinstatement of the ban.