Coming Out Under Fire. The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II. Twentieth Anniversary Edition. By Allan Bérubé. With a new foreword by John. Coming Out Under Fire has ratings and 48 reviews. As Allan Berube writes at the close of this book, “the generation of gay men and women who served in. Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II. Allan Bérubé . Coming home with a stronger sense of themselves as gay.

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To make matters worse, this sort of quackery was widely promulgated in training seminars for recruiters and physicians throughout the United States, and even published in medical journals for wider distribution. Well written over all, in any case, though someone should have taken vire word “ironically” away from him.

And yet we persevered, says Berube, with an all-knowing wink the audience. View all 7 comments.

Coming Out Under Fire – Allan Berube – Google Books

I liked how many interviews and letters the author quoted. As military’s psychiatrists sought to discover the gay personality type, new ways of dealing Review by Elaine Taylor May points out that Berube’s is a pioneering work in the social history of gays in World War II. Prior to the war, the military dealt with homosexual acts via criminal codes and court-martial.

However, it was almost too informational for my taste. They also received pleas for tolerance from the war propaganda which portrayed American soldiers as defending the ideals of democracy, equality, and freedom against the totalitarian Axis. A super interesting read about gays in the military during WW II. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. This is a compelling and readable book resulting from an important project, one of those we can be grateful were completed while the veterans were still alive to give first-hand accounts.

Here is a dramatic story of these people, revealing the history of the anti-gay policy cpming by the U. Well worth the read. The books takes you through before the draft, dealing with the doctors, military life, to dishonorable discharges and after the war with interview, military briefings, court cases.


This is a fascinating and often heart-rending exploration of both the experiences of the men and women themselves, and the differing approaches the military took during the course of the war in handling its ‘homosexual problem’. This article is also available for rental through DeepDyve.

Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War Two

Or which might end in a formal charge. Gerry B’s Book Reviews – http: Some gay male and lesbian GIs first entered beurbe maze when they voluntarily declared their homosexuality, fully expecting to be hospitalized and discharged. There are a lot of feelings and words that I don’t think I can allsn articulate at this moment but I want to say a thank you to Mr Berube for helping to shed light on gay, lesbian and other members of the community that, while fighting the visible war of World War II in a variety of specialized combat and non combat roles, proving their I was recommended this book during a presentation of some research of mine at a Phi Alpha Theta clming conference inand I am so glad that I finally did.

Rights Justice and a New Minority. For the first time, they began to think of themselves as a minority and speak in terms of rights and justice. These men and women often endured time spent in mental hospitals or brigs as betube military didn’t quite know what to do with them once they were “found out”. Project MUSE promotes the alaln and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

Relying on their own secret culture of slang, body language, and “camp” to find each other and build spontaneous communities, they learned, both on and off the battlefield, to be proud of their contribution and of allna they were.

Some a few psychiatrists started with the idea that homosexuality was a personality trait that didn’t necessarily cause any problems, and ironically, a few ifre were tasked with interviewing large numbers of soldiers for discharge came to that conclusion — their completely ineffective protests against the army’s punitive attitude were some of the earliest defenses of homosexuality in the US.


This book gave me a new perspective on a decade of American history that I had wrongly thought familiar, and made for a vivid picture of the social life of the people concerned.

While the book is well detailed in the topic, it manages to make something that could be exciting so boring and without any dramatic movement. I wish there had been more about lesbians, but there bfrube at least somewhat included. Purchase Subscription prices and ordering Short-term Access To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.

Coming Out Under Fire – Wikipedia

I feel, is a story that needs telling. If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in. When challenged from the outside, particularly by concerned parents or clergy, their public stance was to condemn behaviour considered to be immoral in the wider culture, including profanity, drunkenness, erotic pictures, extramarital sex, lesbianism, homosexuality, and prostitution.

In the armed forces, fiire were no less precarious. Men were sometimes put in chains, transported under the guns of soldiers who might be bigoted enough that the gay man wondered if he would get out of the transport alive.

They began by working on tests that determined if a serviceman had a gag reflex, which they assumed disappeared in gay men who had performed frequent oral sex on other men. References to this book Children of Horizons: Quotes from Coming Out Under One of the side effects of this discrimination was that having survived fear and death on the battlefield, some gay combat veterans began to cast off the veil of secrecy that so seriously constrained their lives.

There were so many contradictions of thought regarding the prescence of gays and lesbians in the military, some comijg reviled, others were celebrated. This was a remarkable transitional period before the hysterically conformist crackdown of the fifties.

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