New Exhibit Shows Effects of Homophobia in the Military

Vincent Cianni's "Gays in the Military: How America Thanked Me" reveals the impact of don't ask, don't tell.

The end of don’t ask, don’t tell (DADT) was a major moment in gay history, but an exhibit that opens this weekend in Germantown shows how its effects will be felt for many years to come.

Gays in the Military: How America Thanked Me,” is New York documentary photographer Vincent Cianni’s attempt to compile an oral and visual history of gay men and women who served in the military from World War II to present. His interviews and portrait sessions with more than 70 service people tell stories of “lost careers and decimated lives” due to the harassment and discrimination of homosexuals that existed freely in American military camps across the globe. The photographs, all black and white, are straight-forward portrait compositions of service members and vets that represent all branches and ranks in the military from a variety of economic and racial backgrounds Some of the faces, like in the photo above, are obstructed — an impactful reminder about how the military’s harboring of homophobia has instilled a sense of shame in even our must decorated LGBTQ military heroes.

The exhibition gets grand opening treatment Sat., Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. at iMPeRFeCT Gallery (5601 Greene St.). It will be on display through March 2. The exhibit’s curator, Rocio Cabello provided more images from the gallery. You can see them after the jump. 

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