Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Resisting war, escaping homophobia

Check out my latest article for xtra.ca, an exclusive interview with Bethany "Skyler" James, a 19-year old woman who recently fled the U.S. Army to protest against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to escape homophobic treatment in the military.

Here's a snippet:

But unlike some of the other US war resisters, Skyler had another factor motivating her decision to come to Canada: she is an out lesbian, which directly contradicts the military's infamous "don't ask, don't tell" policy. And Skyler, with her close-cropped hair and penchant for slim-fitting shirts and skinny ties, refused to hide her sexual orientation. In fact she flaunted it — even hanging a rainbow flag in her room at the military base, despite a rule which prohibits anyone who "demonstrate(s) a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts" from serving in the US Army.

"I didn't want to hide," says Skyler, who knew she was gay when she signed up for the military, but said she figured she could keep it under the radar. "In the end it didn't work out that way. I was ridiculed daily by the other soldiers and even received hate letters."

Visit xtra.ca for the full story. And to learn more about how you can help Skyler and the other war resisters living in Canada, visit www.resisters.ca.

1 comment:

Skyler J said...

Ariel you're so great and thanks for interviewing me, because it is so important for people to know about this stuff. Love your Dykes Against Harper, I bookmarked it so I can read more often lol. Seeya soon!