Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Don' το τ ρωτά don' το τ λέει

There seems to be some debate over whether President Obama is going to have the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy on gay soldiers repealed. He hasn't officially said no or yes and he'd prefer you don't inquire.

I don't understand how having gay people in uniform would undermine the mission of our troops but it does seem that NOT having them is, at the very least, hindering our ability to understand the enemy. The biggest loss (for purposes of this blog) to the military has been in the linguist troops.
"The group contends the records show that the military — at a time when it and U.S. intelligence agencies don’t have enough Arabic speakers — is putting its anti-gay stance ahead of national security.

Between 1998 and 2004, the military discharged 20 Arabic and six Farsi speakers, according to Department of Defense data obtained by the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military under a Freedom of Information Act request."
When did "linguist" become a gay industry? I know "gay" does not equal trans-sexual or trans-gender but I guess it does equal trans-lator.

How is it that there are so few straight translators that losing the gays is devastating to the linguist corps? What is it about being gay that makes one gifted in foreign tongues? Is it a gay career of choice like fashion design, hairdressing or decorating? If Tim Gunn had not gone into fashion would Bravo have created "Project Translate"? Were Isaak Mizrahi's designs successful at target because they "spoke to" the immigrant shopper?

Are all translators gay? Is there some special meaning to "bi-lingual" that I never understood before? My best guy friend, who lives not far from San Francisco, speaks Spanish pretty well; should I wonder about his orientation? Or do the gay linguists speak only Farsi and Arabic? Why not Greek and French?

So many questions that I don't ask and they won't tell me.

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