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There is a more ingenuous transsexual tradition, almost as old as the military itself, of drag shows put on by GIs for the entertainment of GIs.
For some, the shows afford a creative outlet, for others perhaps something more.
One midshipman who suffered that indignity later gathered the plebes who inflicted it to congratulate them on their teamwork.
“It’s pretty complicated to understand what’s going on psychologically,” Burke says.
Seldom merely shunned, suspected gays often run a gantlet of macho bullyragging.At the academy, Burke notes, male cadets often gussied up for the shows with undisguised zeal.Freud said men are engaged in a constant struggle against what he called their “feminine or passive” side.“If I’m in the shower,” says Mike Tuttle, a specialist at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, “I like to know I’m not being ogled over by some guy.” It’s an unaccustomed worry for men.By imagining themselves objects of homosexual lust, they unwittingly place themselves in the feminine role—which may explain the vehemence of their objections.
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The administration is offering a compromise this week that would allow gays to serve as long as they did not advertise their sexual preference.