Coming Out Under Fire (1994)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Gender Issues, Social History  |   Run Time - 71 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Innumerable homosexual men and women served honorably (and unnoticed) in the armed forces of the United States during World War II, while a great many others were swept up in anti-homosexual dragnets and entrapment schemes. This documentary interviews survivors of both kinds, and shows how it required tremendous courage and determination to cope with the society they found themselves in. Among the highlights are revelations of the ways these individuals had for identifying each other more or less safely, and the efforts many took to ensure that they would be able to serve their country in its time of need, despite the dangers of stigmatization or worse. The documentary is framed by the 1993 U.S. congressional hearings which resulted in the so-called "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward gays in the armed services, a policy which was calculated to please no one and which was predicted to be a failure before it ever began, opening the gates once more on service-wide anti-homosexual entrapment schemes.

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Keywords

armed-forces, military, homosexual, policy, discrimination, dismissal, gay-bashing, entrapment, coming-out, trial [courtroom]