WWII Gay G.I.s recounts tale of losing their Lovers
Excerpt from the book Coming out under fire The history of gay Men and Women in World War Two: Combat soldiersoftenresponded to each other’s personal losses with the deepest respect and understanding, allowing gay GIs to express openly their grief over the death of boyfriends or lovers.
Jim Warren’s boyfriend was hit while trying to knock out a machine-gun nest on Saipan. “They brought him back,” Warren recalled, “and he was at the point of death. He was bleeding. He had been hit about three or four times. I stood there and he looked up at me and I looked down at him and he said, ‘Well, Jim, we didn’t make it, did we.’ And tears were just rolling down my cheeks. I don’t know when I’ve ever felt such a lump and such a waste. And he kind of gave me a boyish crooked grin and just said, ‘Well, maybe next time.’ And I said, ‘I’m going to miss you. And I’ll see your mother.’ There were people standing around, maybe seven or eight people standing there, and I was there touching his hand and we were talking. Somebody said later, ‘You were pretty good friends,’ because I had been openly crying and most people don’t do this. I said, ‘Yes, we were quite good friends.’ And nobody ever said anything. I guess as long as I supposedly upheld my end of the bargain, everything was all right.”
Ben Small was even less able to control himself when his boyfriend was killed in the Philippines. But he, too, was surprised by the other men’s compassion towards him. “We had a funny freak attack of a Japanese kamikaze plane,” he recalled, “and I guess he was getting rid of his last load of these baby cutter bomb, these little bombs that explode at about three feet high so if they went off through a tent they exploded at bed level. I had just been in the tent of a guy I had been going with at the time. He crawled into bed, and I said goodnight and walked out the tent. And this plane came overhead and all we heard was explosions and we fell to the ground. When I got up too see if he was all right, the trust of the bomb had gone through his tent and he was not there. I went into a three-day period of hysterics. I was treated with such kindness by the guys that I worked with, who were all totally aware of why I had gone hysterical. It wasn’t because we were bombed. It was because my boyfriend had been killed. And one guy in the tent came up to me and said, ‘Why didn’t you tell me you were gay? You could have talked to me.’ I said, ‘Well, I was afraid to.’ This big straight, macho guy. There was a sort of compassion then.”
After a raid in the Philippines, Ben Small remembered, a lieutenant who had been injured was being shipped back to the States, so the men “all went to the plane to see him off that night. It was an amazingly touching moment, when he and his lover said goodbye, because they embraced and kissed in front of all these straight guys and everyone dealt with it so well. I think it was just this basic thing about separation of someone you cared for, regardless of sex.” Small described this tender parting as “a little distilled moment out of time” when men’s “prejudices were suspended” and gay soldiers “could be a part of what this meant.”
Without hesitation, Hanzo grabs Jesse by the front of his blue and white gingham shirt, and he crashes their lips together. He fists the shirt and presses himself against Jesse’s body, suddenly desperate for contact. His cowboy tastes of the spices Ana used in her jerky and sweat from a long day’s ride in the sun.
This commission art was done by @Kazimo. Please check out their artwork and consider commissioning them! Kazimo captured this moment so wonderfully, and we are so touched by the thought and care that went into this piece! Thank you very much!!
~Just a few of my favorites, so if you find yourself in a spot of not knowing what to watch…check these out!~ (Some on this list I haven't completed yet.)
Scarlet Heart Ryeo~ Lee Joon Gi and IU: I have watched this drama, no lie 6 times and it still hurts everytime I watch it. I don't know why I keep doing this to myself… Oh yeah.. Lee Joon Gi as Wang So, that’s why. ( @ashes-of-elysian ) right?
Just You~ Aaron Yan (Taiwanese): This is another drama I can just keep watching… I find the story cute and I love the characters.
Strong Woman Do Bong Soon~Park Hyung Sik: I fell in love with this drama because of the chemistry between the two leads. Hyung Sik is just so extra and lovable. A+++ drama.
Love Rain~ Jang Geun Suk and Yoona: It’s cute, fun and has many heart warming moments. and I love Yoona.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo~Nam Joo Hyuk: Adorable from start to finish, although when you’re finished you really wanna say “SWAG” a lot.
Whirlwind Girl~ Yang Yang:( Chinese) China is infamous for making brutal and heart-wrenching dramas. This one is no different. The main lead gets beat down constantly and somehow keeps getting back up. I must love to suffer because I really liked it.( Martial Arts Drama)
The Scholar Who Walks The Night~ Lee Joon Gi: Vampires, bloody fights and a hint of romance. Not too shabby.
Fabulous Boys~( Taiwanese version of You’re beautiful) Jiro Wang: I liked this version better than the Korean one. The actors meshed better and the female lead was warm. I liked that.
Fight My Way~ Park Seo Joon: LOVED THIS DRAMA. Funny, charismatic and dynamic. First love and friendship.
Bong Soon: Cyborg in love~ Cho Kyuhyun: Okay this drama, The story was good though the writers pushed it so fast. How can you fall in love with characters when the episodes were only 15 minutes long? Luckily my bias was the main male lead and I would watch him in anything. He saved this drama.
School 2017~Kim Jung Hyun: YES YES YES! Finally a high school drama without a grossly forced love triangle. I loved this drama from the first episode.
The King Loves~ Hong Jong Hyun: At first, I was bored with this drama. I disliked the main male lead and it was following the same lines as many other drama’s, an intense love triangle and the ever so popular plot of let’s see how much we can drive the second male lead in the dirt. But as the story progressed I saw something that I hadn’t seen before… the main female lead showing more interest in the second male lead?????? WHAT? I was instantly intrigued and have been hooked on every episode since. Plus Hong Jong Hyun…is pretty easy on the eyes.
I hear your voice~ Lee Jong Suk.: I loved the sweetness of this drama. Although most dramas Lee Jong Suk plays in is good. Except for W what the hell happened there?
LoveO2O~Yang Yang: this drama is a geeky mix of romance and gaming… I mean how can you not like that???
She was Pretty~ Park Seon Joon and Choi Siwon: I wouldn’t want to be the leading lady in this drama? I mean lordy.. having to choose between Siwon or Seo Joon? I would die….
“The late King Taejo’s last words were that life is fleeting. It is all short and in vain. He said that life is so short. But I think that he was wrong. You and I are together like this, so how it could be in vain?”
“If we had met in another world and another time I was thinking how great that would have been. If only that could be… I wouldn’t fear anything. I could freely… Truly, I could freely love you all I wanted.”
- Rap Monster: “LOVE YOURSELF: Her is a series following after ‘Hwa Yang Yeon Hwa’ and ‘WINGS’. This album takes the role of ‘seung’ in ‘gi seung jeon gyeol’ and features 11 songs.” (TV Report) (seung: explanation, gi seung jeon gyeol: introduction - explanation - twist - conclusion)
- Rap Monster: “I think this album will become one of our turning points.” (TV Report)
- Jin: “Please love our song ‘DNA’ that contains our DNA.” (Mydaily)
- Suga: “I was greatly surprised when I heard the news about the number of pre-orders. It was 700,000 for the last album and we were very grateful to our fans and everyone who listened to our album then too. This time we thought we shall grow a little greedier and it would possibly reach 800,000 orders, we were greatly surprised seeing the news. I’m grateful that this many people love us. I think the pre-orders represent the trust and love for our music, I’m really grateful.” (Herald Pop)
- Rap Monster: “‘DNA’ contains our message of reconciliation and unite that we want to throw at the society.” (Mydaily)
- [About the meaning of ‘harmony’] Rap Monster: “I think love is an ability. If you can’t love yourself, you can’t love others. I often hear people saying that love is an illusional and vague thing these days. I thought about the method of loving. The time we spend looking into ourselves is getting lesser ad lesser because of smart phones and news media. I consider loving oneself to be the answer to many things. We don’t have the confidence to love ourselves completely, but we want to try and think about that answer. Starting from loving ourselves. That’s how it started. Although we haven’t been able to find that answer yet, we hope we can as we go along with the ‘gi seung jeon gyeol’ series.” (Mydaily, Joynews24)
- [About the whistle sound] Rap Monster: “I and Jungkook did the whistling together but I don’t know which one they used.” (News Inside)
- [About new goals] Suga: “Whenever we receive this question, we always said that our goal is to enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The Hot 100 chart actually requires having many albums sold, having songs streamed a lot and another important thing is radio play. This is not easy at all. We are holding expectation whether it will come true this time, but luckily US radio stations are giving us a lot of attention and select our songs often, so we’re carefully placing hope this time. Our album is being sold in the US this time and so many people are showing expectation and attention for us so we want to enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart this time.” (Newsen)
- Jimin: “I really want us to top the digital music chart when the digital album is released. I hope many people will love all of our songs this time as well as give BTS who always attempt new things a lot of love.” (Newsen)
- ‘DNA’ is a song of an uncommonly seen music structure in K-pop, featuring the foreign trendy EDM pop genre and bold use of beat drop. The song contains the message ‘we are entwined by fate from the beginning, we are one from the DNA’. (Newsen)
- Suga: “BTS members and the company staff often hold meetings together. The album concepts are from our thoughts and the producers’ thoughts merged together. When we first debuted, we each were busy making our own music, but now we combine BTS’ thoughts and the company’s ones and come up with the concepts.” (Maeil Kyungje)
- Rap Monster: “I often have meetings and hang out with the company staff. I talk with the producers, including Bang Shihyuk PD. The company keeps an eye on what we think.” (Maeil Kyungje)
- Rap Monster: “I always want to give good influence socially. Whenever I see people who like us, I feel a sense of responsibility. It can be become their inspiration or be left as good impression to them, but I think even mere appreciation like enjoying listening to our music or feeling our dance to be cool can also give good influence. I’m feeling the responsibility to keep offering good influence.” (Newsen)
- Suga: “Music is an extraordinary act that can moves someone. I hope the world will eventually become a world where many people are happy.” (Maeil Kyungje)
- [About ‘GO Rather Than Worrying’] Suga: “These days the young generation uses words like ‘YOLO’ and ‘spendthrift’, and I can’t understand why they use those words that much. We interpreted it from the perspective of BTS (in the song), I hope you would think about why the young generation uses ‘YOLO’ and ‘spendthrift’ while listening.” (Mydaily)
- [About ‘DNA’ music video] Suga: “We emphasized on the fancy impression to portray the feeling of falling in love. I was amazed every time I see the music video filming set, because it was so beautiful. I feel good since the result will come out great.” (Sports Joseon)
- Jin: “‘Best Of Me’ is a great song to listen to with lyrical melodies. This song was mixed by a partner who works together with The Chainsmokers. I hope many people would listen to it.” (Sports Joseon)
- Rap Monster: “There’s a famous performance in which president Obama dropped his mic to wrap up the new year speech. It was one of the performances that hold the meaning ‘My speech was good, right?’. ‘MIC Drop’ is a track connected with it. It features a lot of our swag and ambitions and was inspired by president Obama’s speech.” (Seoul Kyungje)
- [About collaboration with Seo Taiji] V: “He gave us support and told us that it’s our era now. I can truly feel that it’s an honor to be able to perform together with such a legendary senior singer.” (Mydaily)
- Jin: “Seo Taiji-sunbaenim told me that I can call him ‘father’. I was grateful that he used the word ‘Seo Taiji and Sons’.” (Mydaily)
- Suga: “I call him ‘hyungnim’. He’s way younger than my father.” (Mydaily)
- [About why the start of the series is ‘seung’ (explanation) and not ‘gi’ (introduction)] Suga: “When we consider the process of falling in love as ‘gi seung jeon gyeol’, I think the stage where we are the most immersed in love would be ‘seung’, so the album started as ‘seung’. There will come a moment when you understand why ‘seung’ comes out now if you follow our album sequence in the future.” (Mydaily)
- Rap Monster: “I think a lot about where our goal should be. When we first debuted, I couldn’t even think of working together with The Chainsmokers. Performing at the Gymnastics Stadium was our goal before debut, but now all kinds of unimaginable proposals are coming from inside and outside of our company. I’m curious about how far we can go. Our abstract goal is to climb up to the top and leave a milestone in the history like how PSY-sunbaenim did.” (Mydaily, Joynews24)
- Suga: “We followed the path of the senior singers and now we too need to build that path and advance further. I hope we can build better paths with better sides of us.” (Joynews24)
- BTS: “Although figures are important, we want to show good music and good performance.” (Joynews24)