A Marine Corps social media post celebrating Pride Month has sparked an angry social media backlash, once again revealing how much hostility towards gay, lesbian and transgender people serving in Army persists over a decade after repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
Paying homage to “Full Metal Jacket,” the post shows a navy helmet with the words “Proud To Serve” written on it as well as round rainbow-colored spikes in honor of gay, lesbian, and gay people. transgender people who have honorably served their country, and, perhaps, the pencils that Jarheads so love to nibble on.
But since social media is largely a forum for airing grievances, it’s no surprise that some people have been pressured by the Marine Corps to say something about the LGBT community, despite the fact that gay troops and lesbians have been able to serve openly since 2010.
The Department of Defense does not track service members based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, so there are no official statistics on the number of LGBTQ soldiers currently in the military. However, a 2010 study by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law estimated that more than 70,000 gay, lesbian, and bisexual members were serving in the military in 2008. Additionally, a 2003 study by the Urban Institute estimated that at least 1 million veterans were gay or lesbian and that number is undoubtedly much higher now, said Lindsay Church, executive director and co-founder of advocacy group Minority Vets.
“Commander should be fired for allowing this to happen in our beloved body,” one person wrote on Facebook. “Woke politicians are weakening our army.”
The post comes as several states where service members serve have passed laws restricting the rights of gays and lesbians and denying medical care to transgender children.
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Another person wrote about Twitter that his grandfather served in the Marine Corps during World War II, adding, “I’m glad he didn’t have to be there to see him capitulate to the Marxists.”
However, comments like these are just a variation on a theme that’s been around for years, dating back to “Just the Tip of the Spear” and “Marines United.” Such attitudes are generally described as “Old Corps,” and they are based on the idea that the reason Marines have won wars in the past is that they rooted out weakness by treating everyone like dirt. crap, so only the strong remained.
The Marine Corps Communications Branch did not provide comment for this story, preferring to let the Pride Month message speak for itself.
Although pervasive, the “old body” myth is not universally embraced by veterans. As one person wrote on Reddit, “I’m a retiree. I can sit and tell you how much better things were in the “old body”, even if that is bullshit and nostalgia speaks.
Others on Reddit wrote that they didn’t care if their fellow Marines were gay, as long as they were able to do their jobs, and suggested that those offended by the Pride Month post were probably part of an older generation. does not tolerate gays and lesbians.
“Love to see all these baby boomers go crazy about it,” wrote one Reddit commenter. “I never want to hear Old Corps = Hard Corps nonsense again.”
In fact, far from all responses to the Marine Corps Pride Month social message have been negative. Several people praised the Marine Corps for honoring gay, lesbian, and transgender Marines and sailors. One person wrote on Instagram that the best body man he ever served with was transgender and several other service members he later deployed with came out as gay.
“No ignorance here, I didn’t care and was proud to support all my guys’ beliefs as long as they did well in their corresponding infantry or corps occupations,” he said. he writes.
Although the Marine Corps has not released a statement in response to negative comments on the Pride Month post, the official Twitter account for the Corps’ East Coast Recruit Training Depot in Parris Island, Carolina South, pushed back some of the negatives on Wednesday. comments.
Chief Warrant Officer Bobby Yarbrough, who manages Parris Island’s social media accounts, told Task & Purpose his job is to educate people about current policies and why they exist.
“We are not trying to identify any individuals or groups in the comments section,” Yarbrough said. “As a service, we continue to reaffirm that every Marine has earned their place in our ranks and should be treated with due respect.”
He also said nearly 80% of comments on the Pride Month post were positive or supportive of LGBQT service members.
Major Philip Kulczewski, spokesman for Parris Island, said the communications team at the recruiting depot monitors and interacts with people on social media reaffirming the Marine Corps’ position on policies.
Parris Island’s social media team is particularly good at bridging generational gaps to make it clear to naysayers, like one person who tweeted, “You’re not in the Marine Corps I was in anymore!”
Parris Island replied“I hate to tell you…there were LGBTQ Marines in the ranks when you served.”
Correction: This article was updated after publication to note that the helmet read “Proud to serve” rather than “Born to serve”.
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