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Vincent Cianni - Gays in the Military Hardcover – 30 Apr 2014


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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
American pride, finally: a beginning 8 Dec. 2014
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Vincent Cianni stated in an interview; `In 2009, I heard a radio interview with the mother of a soldier who had been discharged under "don't ask, don't tell." And I felt not only an emotional connection with what she was saying but also a political connection, and I think those are the two elements that are the basis of my projects. I realized I wanted to be part of the repeal movement, and I asked myself, "What's the best way I can contribute to the repeal of this policy?" The best way I can contribute is to start talking to people and photographing people about this. I wanted to find out who these people were, people who were gay like me, but were in the military. But I also had to remove myself personally and look at this as a civil rights issue and a human rights issue and stand up for that.'

Vincent Cianni has offered us a collection of images of gays in the military - a reminder of how ludicrous that now defunct ban was. The photos are just people but people who have suffered, been denied privileges, discarded by the military, or older veterans who reflect on how life was while enlisted and life since the United States military's ban on openly gay service members ended two and a half years ago, its demise one in a succession of triumphs for gay rights. But for more than two centuries, homosexual conduct was a punishable offense in the armed forces. An Nathaniel Frank of the NY Times has written, ` Although "don't ask, don't tell" was supposed to be a step forward -- the compromise reached after President Bill Clinton's failed effort in 1993 to end the ban altogether -- in many ways it made things worse, prompting a new fixation on sexual orientation in the military that contributed to spiking rates of harassment and expulsion of gay and lesbian troops. The closet began to crumble well before Congress ended the military's anti-gay policy. As a result of the rising expectations gay people had about their right to be open and equal, thousands of troops had already come out to their unit mates notwithstanding the law. But even as the culture changed both outside and inside the military, the continued threat of expulsion meant that harassment could not be reported and resolved without risk of being outed and discharged. It meant that intimacy and even friendship were often casualties of the need to conceal. The images in this book were begun while "don't ask, don't tell" was still in place, the project is an apt coda to an experience marked by an evolution from darkness into light. And the shadows and exposures of photography make it the ideal medium to give visibility and humanity to the sacrifices of gays and lesbians in uniform. "I would hope that my service mattered to someone," says one young soldier in an interview. Mr. Cianni shows that it does, and, with an eye toward history, helps give gays and lesbians who valiantly served, finally, their day in the sun.'

This book is an homage to legions of soldiers who struggled but it is also a sensitive lesson in human rights. If only every citizen could read and see this book....Grady Harp, December 14
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful photos and a must read 28 May 2014
By Don Barefoot - Published on Amazon.com
This is a book of beautiful photos and stories of men and women like myself who served in the military and are gay and lesbian. The photos are incredible and the stories will open your eyes to some of the things we faced while in the military and out. A must own for anyone who wants to know our history. Do yourself a favor and buy this book as you will not be disappointed. Vincent is a very talented photographer and the stories are from transcripts of recorded interviews so you actually feel their souls coming through in the words.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Wow - so deep, I can't stop picking it up 9 Jun. 2014
By Art Collector - Published on Amazon.com
This book is of historic proportions. The formal portraits are breathtakingly powerful, the text serves as a true documentary archive-quality/style narrative and the production value is unmatched. Powerful. Timely. Timeless. Gorgeous.
Deeply moving account of a destructive policy. 2 July 2014
By fragilefinger - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The photos and interviews, as well as the essays bring these heroes to life, Their stories are heart wrenching. No military person should have to suffer in silence as these brave people did. Vince Cianni did a noble service in bringing to light the discriminatrion and how it destroyed careers and lives of those who wanted to serve our country.
Five Stars 6 Aug. 2014
By Mrainey - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Wonderful book permanent place on my coffee table.
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