calorie restrictions

Is Dan Choi’s Hunger Strike Coach Planning On His Death?

It’s day six of Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. James Pietrangelo’s DADT hunger strike — called “DignityFast” — and Choi is light-headed, the back of his eyes hurt, and rumor has it that even his bisexual starvation coach Zoe Nicholson has gotten a lawyer just to avoid personal responsibility in case the fast should end badly. It’s like a night at Twilo in the early aughts, minus the legal representation.

According to her blog post entitled “Life In The Fast Lane”, Nicholson entered a 37-day hunger strike in 1982 saying, “fasting is warp-speed, Captain. It is razor sharp, wicked quick, bright as sunlight and deep as the desert horizon.” And while it’s great that Choi’s hired someone with such a positive outlook, it doesn’t make his undertaking any less dangerous. People have died 42 days into their hunger strike and even Choi’s supporters know he could very well starve to death before his three demands get met by the extremely quick-to-act bureaucracy in Washington D.C.

One such commenter suggested that we skip breakfast each morning and send the money we save to pay for Choi’s medical or funeral bills.

So while getting a lawyer to handle the hunger strike’s severity could just be Nicholson’s way of legally protecting herself, it doesn’t portend well. It kinda seems like signing a pre-nup before a wedding where everyone commits suicide during the reception.

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  • Eric Thor

    Good for him for doing this I hope this works out for him soon. I’m not a super big fan of the video, I’m not doubting its genuineness, but it it seems to be a bit showy.

  • pithyscreenname

    @Eric Thor: I was thinking the same thing, Eric. It felt like one of those before and after weight loss or proactiv video commercials- where someone behind the camera yells- “look as terrible as you can, now action.”

    The birds chirping in the background were a nice touch though.

  • AndrewW

    This makes absolutely NO sense. A hunger strike is an act of desperation intended to get attention for an issue. DADT Repeal has been a major issue since Obama took office. Dozens of organizations and thousands of individuals have been working on its repeaL. None of that changes because some fool decides to starve himself. Repeal is and should be the “center of attention,” not some wanna-be-martyr.

    These self-important publicity stunts are not helpful because they don’t change any minds or garner any support. It is sad to see Dan Choi, who has been able to eloquently speak about DADT Repeal, fail victim to the childish pranks of GetEQUAL.

    I would suggest Choi is better off alive than starving or dead. He is better than this carnival “side-show” and we are better than “starving for attention” as a strategy.

  • Brandoise

    Just eat an apple already! Things regarding DADT are progressing slowly, but moving nonetheless. What good does a suicide by starvation cause? Democrats will take all the credit for passing the bill. If you LIVE they might let you attend the bill’s signing or make it on AC 360. Buck up and start behaving like the solider you so desperately want to be “again.” You are making service men and women look weak!

  • Baxter

    If you’re going to go on a hunger strike, you’d better be risking death. Otherwise what’s the point?

  • Fasting Is Healthy

    Historical records tell us that fasting has been used for health recovery for thousands of years. Hippocrates, Socrates, and Plato all recommended fasting for health recovery. The Bible tells us that Moses and Jesus fasted for 40 days for spiritual renewal.

    For much of human history, fasting has been guided by intuition and spiritual purpose. Today, our understanding of human physiology confirms the powerful healing effects of fasting.

    Fasting is a powerful therapeutic process that can help people recover from mild to severe health conditions. Some of the most common ones are high blood pressure, asthma, allergies, chronic headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, adult onset diabetes, heart disease, degenerative arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, eczema, and acne.

    It is not uncommon for people to experience significant improvement in their health from fasting between 7 and 45 days.

    Fasting gives the digestive tract time to completely rest and strengthen its mucosal lining. A healthy intestinal mucosal lining is necessary for preventing the leakage of incompletely digested proteins into the bloodstream, thereby offering protection against autoimmune conditions.

    Fasting is good for you:

  • NG

    the fact that the boycott has been turned into a religious action is one of the main reasons activists are not supporting it, and have asked lt. choi to end his fasting in the best interest of everyone concerned.

  • ewe

    I find him to be very sensitive and holding to his values not only for himself but for all of our honor as well. I also do not appreciate people making light of someone who withholds nourishment from themselves on matters of principle. He is extremely noble and deserves our respect and attention.

  • Michael @

    There’s a rule in good management….both of corporations and in the military…that one must never ask of someone else what they wouldn’t do themselves….or criticize others for doing things they’re unwilling to do.

    If any of you have sacrificed your personal privacy, your relationship with your parents, and your job by outing yourself on TV for what you believe in AND

    Gotten yourself arrested twice for what you believed which included someone with authority in one of those jails physically threatening you AND

    Risked a FEDERAL prison sentence for what you believe in [by wearing your military uniform while participating in a political and illegal act]….

    go ahead….snark away.

    I’m not saying one must do all or any of those things to contribute to the Movement but they should be a prerequisite for criticizing anyone who has.


  • jt

    he government’s current approach to repealing DADT is fatally wrong and a grave misstep to the future of LGBT rights with its failure to acknowledge that the controversy around DADT as a HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE and under no circumstance should be put under a “timeline”

  • Max in Atlanta

    This is a NON-EVENT. It doesn’t matter if one guy does something stupid. Nobody cares about self-mutilation or starvation. Martyrdom is for crazy religious people.

    Choi should stop this goofy protest because it doesn’t help anyone (or our cause) and it could actually hurt him after a few months. Some times we endure some things because there is an eventual benefit. For this look-at-me-suffer show, there is NO BENEFIT – now, or later.

  • j

    @Fasting Is Healthy: Rofl, forty five days of fasting will IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH, and you’ll just bounce back after right away, because jesus did it too? Enough of your woo please.

  • Max in Atlanta

    @j: It’s true – fasting is good for you. I have fasted a few times. The first time for 10 days and the second time for 2 weeks. I only felt weak on the 3rd and 4th days, then I had incredible energy.

    it is usually 3 months before a healthy person would experience any real difficulties. Hunger strikes usually last for 6 months to a year.

  • damon459

    Fasting may “feel” good to some people but seriously your body is feeding of itself how can anyone call that a good thing? If you were overweight you would have some wiggle room but once your body uses all the stored fat it moves on to muscle mass an Dan is skinny it won’t be long before his body consumes it’s self. What good will it do if he dies so young by starving himself? Does he think this will help the cause? We need to change peoples minds by educating them not throwing tantrums and starving ourselves.

  • counterpoll

    Fasting does often create a mild and temporary ‘high’ but that is short-lived. An individual with already low body-fat % [such is the case with Choi, if photos are accurate] will typically not last as long without caloric/nutient intake as someone who has excess fat.

    This said, unless liquids consumed contain all essential electrolytes, the essential functions of the heart and kidneys can rapidly become compromised. Muscle wasting affects the heart as well, and may leave lasting damage. Cognitive disorientation {not being able to think clearly} is another risk, although that is typically reversible, I believe. If fluids are restricted in any way, the risks multiply.

    Politics aside, this is a risky venture. Monitoring of vital signs by competent medical personnel is critical: blood pressure, heart rate, respirations, etc. Analyses of urine/blood as well.

    The problem, simply put, is that things can turn scary dangerous in a manner of minutes. Any EMT, RN, NP, or MD associated with any resultant morbidity or mortality would be subject to *very* close scrutiny.

    OPINION:If Dan were my friend or brother, I’d encourage him to think of a less perilous way to make his case for DADT repeal. That’s me speaking as a human being. I don’t think martyrdom is going to turn the tide. It may even be a distraction.

  • Samwise

    Oh man, I hope he ends up okay. :(

    It would be such a waste for such a brave, articulate civil rights advocate to die.

  • Kevin T.

    @Samwise: Choi is a healthy guy. He should make it four or five months without any major problems. If I was betting I would say Thanksgiving might be impossible.

  • Kevin T.

    GetEQUAL missed an opportunity for a Reality Show featuring Dan Choi. If we could watch him wasting away it might be more interesting. Occasional you tube videos aren’t enough. Plus, they could start to tease him with his favorites foods. That would get viewers.

  • Jason

    This hunger strike is suicide.

    Why would anybody promote or even pay attention to suicide? It doesn’t matter if it’s a bullet to the head or four months of starvation – the act is still suicide.

    Dan Choi is committing suicide. I think that is stupid, no matter what the reason.

  • ossurworld

    Dan Choi should take action that is not masochistic or hurtful to himself.

  • Jason_Activist

    He QUIT. I won’t forgive him. This was just a trick or a stunt.

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