Tag Archives: bilerico project

Death at Camp Pendleton: When the Military Supports Homophobia

August Provost, a Navy sailor stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California, was found murdered in his guardpost on July 1st, 2009.

Provost, apparently openly gay among his fellow soldiers, admitted on his MySpace page to having dated males before and was known on the installation to be openly gay, entered the Marine Corp in 2008.

According to the San Diego Tribune, a suspect is being held in conjunction with the death:

The death of a 29-year-old sailor at Camp Pendleton on Tuesday isprovost being investigated as a possible homicide, Navy officials said Wednesday. The body of August Provost of Houston was discovered in a guard shack on the western edge of the base sometime during the predawn hours, said Doug Sayers, a spokesman for Navy Region Southwest. An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday to determine the cause of death.The Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which is looking into the death, has taken a “person of interest” into custody in connection with the case. Charges have not been filed, Sayers said.

Information on who discovered the body or why Provost was in the guard shack was unavailable.

Provost was a boatswain mate seaman who worked on hovercrafts and was assigned to Assault Craft Unit 5 on the base. He joined the Navy in March 2008.

Local gay activist groups believe Provost’s death was a hate crime and are urging the military and local authorities to treat it as such following interviews with others who indicated harrassment of Provost on the installation had been an ongoing matter.

Other sources cite an arguement over Provost’s sexual orientation led to his death.

More, from Queerty:

Provost’s boyfriend, Kaether Cordero, said yesterday that Provost was openly gay but kept his private life quiet for the most part.“People who he was friends with, I knew that they knew,” Cordero said from Houston. “He didn’t care that they knew. He trusted them.”Provost had recently complained to his family that someone was harassing and bothering him, and they advised him to tell his supervisor, said his sister, Akalia.“He’s the type that if someone comes at him, he walks away. He never stands and argues,” she said. “He didn’t deserve anything but a good life.”

Family described Provost as a well-mannered, humble and goofy guy who strived to make sure his mother was well-taken care of. Provost was assigned to Assault Craft Unit 5 on the base.

He had completed three years of college before joining the Navy in March 2008 to help finance his education. He was studying to become an architectural engineer, his uncle said.

One might say nothing’s been proven about this death or whether it’s actually directly connected to Provost being gay. One might say the blogosphere as well as other media outlets are jumping the gun.  One might be wrong.

The most disheartening aspect of being gay in the military is you have noone to talk to. Under DADT, you can’t speak to your Commanding Officer, fellow military members, or even the Chaplain if you’re being harrassed because of sexual orientation.

Capping off a week of homophobia surrounding the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, how much longer will the American people allow this hate to continue? How much longer will we allow viable members of our military to be discharged for nothing more than who they are? How much longer will gay bashing be allowed on our military installations and outside of them?

What is needed to get our President and Congress off their collective asses and repeal DADT?

What if every single military member who’s gay went to their Commanding Officer and confess? What impact would that have on our military strength?

Would that be the ultimate sacrifice? Or would we rather allow more hate and murder?

A New Stonewall?

Following my post Remembering Stonewall (click to read) news comes from Ft. Worth, Texas; reporting a police raid on The Rainbow Lounge, a newly-opened gay bar in the city early in the morning of the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

Citing reasons for the raid, the police passed it off as an “alcohol beverage code inspection”, and managed to arrest several patrons for “public intoxication”  and accusing them of “grabbing a police officer in the groin area” among other ridiculous hate-filled charges.


Video here:

More from Waylon Hudson of The Bilerico Project:

The newly opened Rainbow Lounge was hosting a birthday celebration for Todd Camp, the founder of Q Cinema, and screening documentaries about the Stonewall Riots to commemorate the 40th anniversary of one of the defining moments in LGBT history. Witnesses say the police showed up with a paddy wagon and began to roughly arrest men, focusing mainly on “effeminate men.”

One bar patron, Chad Gibson, is in a local hospital with a fractured skull and brain hemorrhage after being “choked, pulled back, then slammed into a wall” by police during the raid. Police say he was resisting arrest and made “sexual advances to officers”, a claim witnesses dismiss as outright lies. They say Gibson, who weighed “maybe 160 pounds soaking wet”, did not resist and merely stumbled when police grabbed him by the arm.

In total, seven people were arrested for public intoxication and at least a dozen more were restrained.

A Facebook page dedicated to this  incident has been established to cover the brutal acts of the Fort Worth Police firsthand.

Remembering Stonewall

Fourty years ago today, police stormed a Mafia-owned bar in Greenwich Village known to have been frequented by gays. The subsequent riots that occurred over the next day following the brutal treatment of American citizens at the Stonewall Inn are credited with the birth of the modern LGBT movement.

This one event solidified in the minds of homosexual men and women that our government and our society treat us as second-class citizens, denying it’s citizens the right to equality and protection from hate.

Today, despite advances in the movement, we are still second-class citizens. We are denied the right to marry, the right to adopt, the right to serve openly and honorably in our military, and the right to share medical, insurance, hospital visitation, and internment rights enjoyed by mainstream Americans of every race, creed, and religion.

Our government, the one based upon the simple principle that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” has failed a segment of it’s population larger than most minorities. Think for a moment…according to the US Census, blacks account for 14% and hispanics make up 15% of the minority culture in this nation.

How many Americans are gay? 2%? 10%. We really don’t know. The stigma of homosexuality in our society still, to this day, forces millions of Americans to live their life in a lie – closeted in fear of their neighbor, their government, their family. Right now, the number could arguably surpass the populace of Asians, American Indians, and other minority groups.

Even as the majority of the American public now approve of gay unions, the repeal of DADT and other rights denied to the LGBT citizen, our government continues to fail to recognize such a right to equality.

Our President, Congress, and senior military are still living twenty years in the past and cast a myopic eye on what the people of this country want for the LGBT community – equality.

But the problems of the community do not specifically lie with the government. We are our own problem.

TIME magazine, in 1966, three years prior to the Stonewall Riots, said this about gays:

Beset by inner conflicts, the homosexual is unsure of his position in society, ambivalent about his attitudes and identity—but he gains a certain amount of security through the fact that society is equally ambivalent about him.

We haven’t changed much, have we? Whether the gay male or female merely consigns themselves to defeat, or is complacent with his or her own personal situation,  the activism that arose from the riots of the Stonewall Inn forty years ago has subsided. Instead the community has allowed itself to be splintered into factions so numerous, fractile, and divisive we’ve lost sight of the goal.

It’s not about the G, L, B, or T…it’s about Equality!

The gay community will never achieve our goal of equality until such time as we organize with a singular purpose – to effect the changes needed within our government through community activism, financial contributions to our supporters, and yes, withdrawal of financial support to those who are fearful of voicing their support, up to and including the President of this country.

In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln issued an Executive Order abolishing slavery, thus freeing and providing a path to equality for the black man of America. In in 1948, President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981, which ended brought up the end to racism in the Armed Forces.

I implore you, my friends, to contact your Congressman, your Senator, your Governor, your President, and ask that the road to equality begin.

Wanna Be Blogs

I heard this term yesterday, “wanna be blog“, seconded by someone else with the quote “Aren’t they all?“. And I have to ask the question:

“What is a wanna be blog?”

Is it a blog written by someone to enlighten someone?

Is it a blog written by someone wanting to inform?

Is it a blog written by someone to entertain?

Is it a blog written by someone to opine?

I don’t understand. I read plenty of blogs. Here’s a short list of some of the blogs I visit frequently, in no particular order:

Taking Names the Blog



Hal Boedeker

Huffington Post

Washington Monthly

The Bilerico Project

Pam’s House Blend

Not to mention my good friend’s blog:

The Velvet StraitJacket

Seriously, the above list is about a tenth of the blogs I read each day.

I read these blogs to be enlightened,  informed, entertained, and to view other’s opinions of things in the world. I consider every site I go to as an educational experience and marvel at the wonder that is the internet as it allows people to speak their minds and have those words read by anyone and everyone in the world.

Welcome to my world.

I hope to enlighten,  inform, entertain, and opine.

That’s what this blog is about. I don’t want to be any other blog…Scott Maxwell does a great job on his, Hal Boedecker on his, Ariana Huffington on hers, and Kelly on hers. And so on…I honestly cannot fathom the wealth of knowledge I’ve gained as a result of the blogs I read.

So I take great offense at the words “wanna be blog”, and comments following those words like “Aren’t they all?”

If you don’t like blogging, don’t read blogs. Your loss.