Coming Out Under Fire. The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II. Twentieth Anniversary Edition. By Allan Bérubé. With a new foreword by John. Coming Out Under Fire has ratings and 48 reviews. As Allan Berube writes at the close of this book, “the generation of gay men and women who served in. Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II. Allan Bérubé . Coming home with a stronger sense of themselves as gay.

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Sep 30, Gerry Burnie rated it it was amazing Shelves: Therefore, the unfortunate men and women awaiting jusice were helplessly caught somewhere in the middle.

For gays and lesbians this is just such a good, enlightening and yes, empowering story. Gay soldiers often came out of the war with a better sense of themselves as gay, whether because of the chance that cameraderie had given them to feel “normal”, because of meeting many others like themselves, or precisely because of the segregation and discrimination imposed on them if they were caught up in fife policies.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. The controversy over blue discharges even led to public discussion that was not always unsympathetic to homosexuals. Well documented but so repetitive and with little narrative.

Ot Out Under Fire: Citing articles via Google Scholar. Particularly moving were the heart-wrenching accounts of soldiers who watched their lovers die in combat, and the surprising compassion and support they received in their grief from their fellow G. I’d recommend following up this read with memoirs or letters by gay soldiers in order to better round out one’s understanding.

Among the many histories of fighting men and women in World War II, little has been written about the thousands of homosexuals who found themselves fighting two wars–one for their country, the other for their own survival as targets of a military policy that sought their discharge as “undesirables. These bedube and women often endured time spent in mental hospitals or brigs as the military d I found this fascinating, intriguing, and frustruating.


One photo, of military police inside San Francisco’s Kit Kat Club brube the lookout for servicemen, is alone worth the price of the book. The contribution gay men and women have made throughout history is fjre often ignored or sidelined as a niche category of historical studies. Feb 03, carlageek rated it really liked it Undsr It includes information on being gay on the home front as well.

This, combined with some time-honored stereotypes about gay men, led to the notion of homosexuality as a personality trait or mental disorder, depending upon whom you asked to be screened for and excluded.

Gay men still in the closet in the forces were both painfully sympathetic and embarrassed. I think this really added depth undwr power to the queer experience and gave his book credibility in a way that facts could not. Some were abused, or forced to provide blow jobs to their supposedly heterosexual guards.

Coming Out Under Fire – Allan Berube – Google Books

At best they might find a sympathetic ear. Hopefully they’re all around for other people to use. The stories from those who served, interviewed by the author, were told brilliantly to keep the story moving but still bring us the personal anecdotes.

But, also, then the men and women who the policy it first targets, fought and died for their country like the rest of their generation. The women were similarly treated, sometimes even more extremely reviled by their comrades in arms and their officers.

The period of tolerance in the immediate post-war period quickly yielded to homophobic witch hunts in the cold war. As military’s psychiatrists sought to discover the gay personality type, new ways of dealing with gay servicemen included the “queer stockade” and “blue fiee less than honorable discharge as well as rehabilitation for return to duty.

Here is a dramatic story of these people, revealing the history of the allaan policy pursued by the U. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.


Developing a drag performance style designated as “camping,” the gay servicemen claimed their own cultural space.

But many did not. Gay marriage is legal in several US states – how sweet that is, coming from a position where being gay was considered insane and criminal?

Want to Read saving…. There is great breadth covered from the role of psychiatrists, military leaders, the experiences of gays and lesbians in the US military, repression as well as acceptance that does not seem to have too much unifor This is the key text for homosexual experience in WWII and it remains so.

Teenage recruits who were just fooling around with each other, especially if they had been drinking, found themselves unexpectedly becoming sexual. The Fight for Reform pp. The Legacy of the War. Sign in via your Institution Sign in. An amazing amount of prima This book has it all – and it’s also very accessible, so you can learn a lot without already being a military buff.

Published April 1st by Free Press first published At other times the psychiatrists, who were charged with reporting a man’s or woman’s fitness for duty, might betray and report them. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War Two

Common terms and phrases American Journal antihomosexual policies armed forces Army’s barracks basic training Ben Small blue discharge buddies butch Camp Carmen Miranda chaplain cities civilian combat David Barrett Department U. The witch hunts, I had heard cojing. There is great breadth covered from the role of psychiatrists, military leaders, the experiences of gays and sllan in the US military, repression as well as acceptance that does not seem to have too much uniformity during the war.