bright sides

5 Potential Benefits Of Separate Showers For Gay Soldiers

Besides the irony of a mixed race commander-in-chief overseeing a military that’s even considering the possibility of segregating straight and queer troops, maybe there’s an upside to the chance gay, lesbian, and bisexual soldiers will be able to serve openly but separately?

Update: The Pentagon insists they were never considering separate but equal.

After repealing DADT — which, under the current Congressional legislation, would need the signature of military chiefs — the Pentagon was, months ago, considering having The Gays use separate showering and/or living facilities. The idea is still on the table! Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters Friday, “We think it would be irresponsible to conduct a survey that didn’t address these questions because when ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is repealed, we will have to determine if there are any challenges in those particular areas, any adjustments that need to be made in terms of how we educate the force, or perhaps even facility adjustments that need to be made to deal with those scenarios. But we won’t know any of that until we get a sense from the force of their attitudes. “It could turn out, based on this survey, that there are far fewer concerns than we are led to believe. There could more or different concerns than we had anticipated.”

It could also turn out they ignore common sense and let homophobia win the day! But can’t something good come from this? Sure, if you’re a ridiculous optimist.

Fewer people to fight off from the TV remote. RuPaul‘s Drag Race. The Real L Word. Project Runway. These are the shows gay soldiers want to watch, but far too often the common televisions are hijacked by sports-loving, WWE-watching goons. No more of that. But you can still watch White Collar together, that’s cool.

Your shower supplies will go untouched. That $260 you just dropped on Perricone MD Neuropeptide Firming Moisturizer goes to waste when an unknowing straight soldier grabs a whole glop to use as aftershave. A gays-only wash room would never permit such cosmetics fouls.

The background noise will improve. Turn up the volume on that Lady Gaga person. Stop shielding your iPod when Kylie comes on. And best of all, no Nickelback. Ever.

Your sex toys are safe. Gone are the days when pearl dildos and perineum ticklers are mistaken for neck massagers or a place to hang your hat. Still stow them away, but worry less about anyone rifling through your stash.

Most of those misunderstandings will disappear. Now when your bunk mate walks into the room, and you’ve got the lights off while “wrestling” with a buddy, you won’t have to fumble for excuses to explain why you’re holding an about-to-be-ripped-open condom wrapper. He’ll just get it. And he’ll ask to join. CAUSE WE’RE ALL WHORES, I’ve heard.

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  • ron

    Love the locker room picture…..god, it’s not easy typing with one hand…..

  • Devon

    Let me see if I’ve got this right…

    The American right-wing is constantly praising the troops as the bravest American heroes to ever walk the earth, and they have no problem shipping these young people off on multiple tours of duty, expecting them to potentially kill or be killed……But the thought of a gay dude possibly seeing their weenie is just going too far. They couldn’t possibly handle that…I mean fighting a war is one thing, but a homoqueer possibly seeing their junk in the shower is just too much for them. We can’t expect them to endure such OMGHORRORS.

  • Chris

    I see that there clearly is humor in this article BUT there really are service members that would like to be able to serve comfortably in the military without all of these stereotypes being tossed around. I happen to be a gay service member and it is a hard thing to live with, Ive seen how people make homosexuals seem as if were immoral people. I can’t speak for everybody but I can say that some of us just want to live prosperous lives through our hard work and being discriminated against for our sexuality makes things that much more complicated.

  • CJ

    The more I think about it, the more I understand about 2% of this survey. I really hate to say this. But, let me explain.

    We, as gays, tend to see no problem with showering with other guys, straights or gays. But, imagine if it were men and women showering together. We don’t separate men and women because our bodies are shaped differently. We do it because of sexual attraction, right? So, what if the military started mandating that men and women shower together? Straight men would love that! But, many women would freak out. So, we could assume that SOME straight guys really don’t like the idea of gay guys showering with them, possibly being attracted to them, etc. (Again, same situation as with the women). IT IS MY GUESS that the military is trying to consider THIS to some degree. True, there are other bigoted parts of the survey. And, the overall tone is bigoted and biased. But, I can understand the LOGIC of how putting gays and straight guys in the same shower area could be an issue. In some regards, it would not be “fair” to the straight guys IN THE SAME WAY it would not be fair to women to have straight men showering with them. Honestly, I’m just trying to look at it from a logical perspective, stripping away all of the bigotry, discrimination, my own biases, etc. By doing that, I can see SOME logic to why integrating gays is not so cut and dry.

    At the same time, DADT is completely discriminatory and needs repealed. Hatred, bigotry and inequality have been excused for far too long. But, at the same time, I do realize that mixing gays and straights into public showers (1 example) needs sensitivity and evaluation. True, these showering situations already happens. But, it is a bit different than when the military brass is intentionally telling straights that they must be showering (etc) with gays. Repealing DADT with no “plan” would be careless.

    Again, as much as I hate to say it, there is about 2% of this survey that I can understand. But, that’s not been easy for me. It’s layers below a lot of bigotry and politics that I have to strip away.

  • Shane

    “Seperate but equal,” anyone?


    Separate water fixtures???……………..Gee, where have I heard of somethin’ similar??????

    Gay folks: the 2010 version of colored people……..

  • Deferr

    who is the model in the pic and where can I find more!??

  • Jon

    Electric wiring malfunctions killing the queers. That would seem like a negative to me. Or the shower-house being burnt down. Septate, but equal just makes hate ok.

  • REBELComx

    Of course, if history teaches us anything, a separate unit (hehe, unit) for the queers would make the rest of the army look pathetic.
    Sacred Band of Thebes, anyone?

  • REBELComx

    I mean pathetic in comparison of course.

  • Jeffree

    Two easy solutions to consider:
    1) Blindfolds mandatory in all showers
    2) Shower in the dark. No lights whatsoever.

    Umm, second thought. Bad ideas. I don’t wanna be groped by a str8 dude. Nor do i want 2 share his soap…………

  • Desdemona

    gay and straight soldiers are already showering together! seriously, what is going to change is dadt is repealed? do they honestly think that the military queers are gonna all the sudden bust out & start jumping around like gay pride? the military queers are not usually the flamboyant type to begin with!
    Or what, start raping straight men in the showers? That clearly would be misconduct, and has nothing to do with gay men/women being able to be truthful about their sexuality. It really would be a non-issue, if it wasn’t for the homophobic bigots.

  • Adam

    A major factor in this idea of segregation is the safety of the gay soldiers themselves. It’s misguided to be sure, but not entirely malevolent.

  • D Smith

    its also ironic that no one seems to point out that if we are segregating based on sexual orientation… then why the hell are we putting all the people who are sexually attracted to each other in the same barracks / showers? the ultimate fail imo…

    i mean really if they wanted to be taken seriously on this one they should have suggested single person stalls and barracks rooms… not segregation of a despised minority group.

  • DR

    I realize the humor behind this article, but this is no laughing matter. I find the concept of “separate but equal” deplorable.

  • paul

    Gays are allowed to ‘openly’ work out in public gyms, and ‘openly’ swim in public swimming pools. We manage to contain ourselves, for the most part, and are able to change in public without raping the first naked body we cast our eyes on. Joking aside about gay barracks but do they realize gays are humans and not animals who cannot help themselves but have to hump the first thing they see ? How can a country that got rid of segregation but even considering it again in any form ?? This is sick.

  • ron

    Why do so many straight men over-estimate their attractiveness to gay men? Most of them I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole! If I know someone is not gay, I don’t even think about them in a sexual way. They all seem to think we just hump anything male. I would think there are more important things in a war-zone than fucking in the shower. Besides, I thought there was a time limit to showering in the armed forces.

  • randy

    About 15 other militaries allow gays to serve openly, including those of Israel, Britain, Canada, and Australia, in addition to all the NATO countries. There is no need to reinvent the wheel.

    Those countries all experienced about zero issues in integrating open gays, and there were no surveys or talk of separate but equal. They just did, overnight, and everything worked out okay.

    Any idiot who says we can’t learn from any other military on this issue doesn’t deserve to be in any position of power.

  • Kevin, New Jersey

    @paul: I think it’s projection: the heterosexist male norm tries to think to itself what it would do if it were thrust into a hot, steamy shower room filled with naked women.

    Of course, to continue the metaphor, all of these women are lesbians and will beat you to within an inch of your life if you get a straightboy hardon, but whatever…

  • William

    Humorous, but doesn’t add much credibility to the “I’m no different from you” argument.

  • SteveDenver

    It still cracks me up that soldiers who face bombs, guns, insurgent violence and enemy hatred, are going to be disabled by a longing look of lust from a queer. HA HA!

  • jack

    the gay ppl would just end up fuckin in th showers lol, i know i would!

  • ewe

    I used to look just like that photo. It’s true. I feel sorta sad all of a sudden.

  • ewe

    Ok i am over it now.

  • ewe

    Oh my. I did mean the top photo. The bottom photo defines my mind many days.

  • boredwell

    This article’s attempt to leaven the DADT discussion with lame humor is irresponsible. And elitist since it retails attitudes, behavior and lifestyle relegated to some gay men that have become the stereotype for gay men in general. For way too long! People don’t much like being lumped together having their lives defined based on assumptions. Gay people are larger and more complex that the narrow mindset which seeks to categorize and identify us as different, apart from, unique: it serves the dominant (straight) majority who want to keep us in another closet, one that neatly compresses us between these false perceptions and silly preconceptions. Okay, we’re homosexuals but this doesn’t mean that we are homogenized!

  • Rob Wilson

    the way the gay barracks sound, i would rather live on the str8 side and just go on the gay side for sex.

  • David

    Wow if they are afraid of guys in a locker room shower how well will they fight on the battle field. Stop worrying about who is staring at your junk and get on with it.

  • Surfer Dude

    The TV show Battle Star Galactica featured co-ed showers in the military spaceships. The show was much more than the future of technology gadgets. They played out many social issues in a fantasy/future world. When I saw the co-ed showers, I immediately thought about it as a consequence of repealing do-not-tell.

    The logical reason for separation of male and female showers is that those naked bodies mean something to each other due to sexual interest. And, all straight male showers would ignore each other’s nude bodies, because they don’t care. Though, an all gay shower would have naked bodies caring about each other. So, really, gay and lesbian people had to get their own shower stalls.

    Carrying so many shower stall into combat operation seems like a big headache, when the focus should be on safety and fighting. So, maybe just throw straight, gay, male, and female into the same shower to give everyone the same treatment. Have people act responsible. Don’t grab or stare at people that tell you no. If you don’t like something say no clear and firmly.

    Consider that to some psychological theory few people are completely gay or straight. Many people are at least a bit curious about the other side in their deepest privacy. What keeps a straight and secretly bi-curious male from taking shower memories into a little head video during the night? So, being in an all straight shower doesn’t keep you safe from being used for ‘impure’ thoughts anyway.

  • Ken

    I think what they are really saying is that they have to go through the motions of considering all possibilities, however stupid they may be. Later, no homophobic soldier can say, “It never would have happened if we had been in separate quarters.”

    This is just CYA, that’s all.

    I don’t think this is anything to be scandalized about.

  • neptune221

    As a gay man in the military, I’m not sure exactly how I feel about repealing DADT. On one hand, I feel I’ll lose a lot of respect from my troops (for a medic, that’s a pretty big thng), and constantly be under scrutiny simply because of my sexual orientation. On the other, I will have a HUGE weight lifted off my shoulders, and I’ll no longer have to make up stories about the “girl” I’m currently screwing. Frankly, what gay soldiers do behind closed doors is nobody’s business, but if DADT goes out the window, who’s to say it’ll stay that way?

  • Jimmi

    Never join any organization that doesn’t give you your own private bathroom.

  • efrenefren

    Ryan Tedder as OneRepublic Ryan Tedder? OMG

  • Will

    @CJ: Thanks, CJ. I’ve attempted to explain this problem as you did, but with bizarre personal ‘heterophobic’ attacks. So prolific was the mocking that I began to wonder if there are any homosexual men who can think logically and without a vicious sense of selfishness. I’m personally uncomfortable having gay men look me over in the gym shower and attempt to what seems like flirting. And several times I’ve been surrounded by a number of them in the shower and even stalked in the parking lot. I clearly tell these men that I’m married with kids. They say they like what they see. If I could shower in the women’s lockerroom, I would likely get sexually turned on, too, and behave like these men, just in reverse. If homosexuals want to be accepted in society, they need to be considerate like CJ. Again, thanks CJ for your bold statement of understanding.

Comments are closed.