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DADT trial

By Eden James

The AP broke the story a few hours ago:

WASHINGTON – A Pentagon spokeswoman says recruiters have been told that they must accept gay applicants, following a federal court decision striking down the ban on gays serving openly in the military.

Spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said Tuesday that top-level guidance has been issued to recruiting commands informing them that the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule has been suspended for now. Recruiters also have been told to inform potential recruits that the moratorium could be reversed at any point.

Chris Geidner at Metro Weekly added some more detail:

The statement provided by Smith in an email to Metro Weekly, and first reported by the Associated Press, comes on the heel of a report in The New York Times that Omar Lopez, who is an out gay man, was turned away at a recruiting station in Texas because of his sexual orientation despite the judge’s injunction resulting from the Log Cabin Republicans v. United States case.

Smith also wrote that “[r]ecruiters are reminded to set the applicants’ expectations by informing them that a reversal in the court’s decision of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law/policy may occur.”

The Washington Post adds some background to the events that led up to today’s news:

The guidance issued to military recruits is consistent with the Defense Department’s plans to abide by a federal judge’s injunction on the 17-year ban on gays in the military. The Pentagon advised senior military leaders late last week not to ask service members or military applicants about their sexual orientation, to treat the rank and file with dignity and respect and maintain good order and discipline.

Dan Choi’s response? Time to re-enlist (and test the system, one assumes).

Here’s Dan’s first announcement from his Twitter account account, where he is adding live updates:

“I’m headed to the Times Square Recruiting Station. #DADT”

Check out a pic of Dan in Times Square here.

UPDATE: Chris Geidner adds an update of his own:

[UPDATE: Perhaps the most interesting bit of information regarding today’s announcement came from The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder, who noted, “Pentagon’s general counsel made the decision.” The general counsel is Jeh Johnson. Johnson is the co-chair of the Pentagon working group charged with implementing repeal. Assuming Ambinder’s reporting to be accurate, then the co-chair of the working group made the decision that, with guidance to recruiters, the change in recruiting policy could be made immediately.]

UPDATE: Army just accepted the re-enlistment of Lt. Dan Choi!

BoyCulture has the goods.

Here’s are YouTubes of interviews with Dan in Times Square before and after he reenlisted:

UPDATE: Statement by Army veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis:

“During this interim period of uncertainty, service members must not come out and recruits should use caution if choosing to sign up. The ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law is rooted in any statement of homosexuality made at anytime and to anyone. A higher court is likely to issue a hold on the injunction by Judge Phillips very soon. The bottom line: if you come out now, it can be used against you in the future by the Pentagon. As the DOJ fights to keep this unconstitutional and oppressive law, we are monitoring active-duty clients’ cases and fielding calls every day to our hotline. Given the uncertainty in the courts, we urge the Senate to act swiftly next month on repeal when they return to Washington.”


  • 1. Freddy  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Checking the box.

  • 2. Kathleen  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:37 am

  • 3. Ronnie  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:37 am

    in the box…. ; ) ….Ronnie

  • 4. Rhie  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Better than in the closet, Ronnie 🙂

  • 5. JonT  |  October 19, 2010 at 9:10 am

    …and freaking awesome.

  • 6. BK  |  October 19, 2010 at 5:21 pm


  • 7. Freddy  |  October 19, 2010 at 8:06 am

    I didn't check "the box" back in 1987 when I first enlisted so I guess I should now.

  • 8. Slade  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:39 am

    I celebrate this, however when I posted it on my Twitter I had a friend who is active in the military and they stated while they support it, a lot of people are REALLY against it and thinks that it will be very messy.

    All I can hope for is that the transition is smooth and that openly LGBT service members are not harassed or prosecuted by fellow members due to fear mongering from republican politics.

  • 9. fiona64  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:48 am

    As I said to my hate-spewing, ex-Marine nephew: those bigots who think it will be messy? Are the ones who want to make it that way. *They* are the ones causing unit cohesion problems and should be dealt with accordingly.


  • 10. Slade  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:50 am

    So I asked what their "valid" reasons were to be against it. They stated that the military's fuel is machoism and that being gay goes against it (being effeminate). Also a lot of the recruits come from predominately republican states so there is the whole "HATE GAYS" thing. Also that they believe it will destroy unit cohesion and having to bunk/shower/exist in tight quarters with people who are gay (which is absurd because they are doing that NOW only the gays are quiet about it).

  • 11. fiona64  |  October 19, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Pretty much the same nonsense my nephew spewed, although his was liberally peppered with hate speech terms equating female anatomy with weakness and gay men with kindling wood bundles.

    It's absurd. The soldier who worked for me, of whom I have written before? Was the soldier of the year for the 12 western states. He was one of the first booted out under DADT. He didn't get to be soldier of the year for the 12 western states by not being good at what he did — and he was a decorated combat vet.


  • 12. Rhie  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Yea, and the guys on the ground were the ones who were against integration. To paraphrase Leo McGarry in West Wing (yes watching it through – again) "The unit was shaken up. The unit got over it." Because that's their job.

  • 13. Sagesse  |  October 19, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I feel badly for the servicemembers having to sit by in silence while being tantalized by how it could be. It's almost sadistic. I realize this has to play out, but I wish it could be over for them.

  • 14. Ann S.  |  October 19, 2010 at 10:13 am

    I feel bad for those enlisting and telling their recruiters that they are gay or lesbian, because I'm afraid it will come back later to bite them.

  • 15. Bob  |  October 19, 2010 at 10:33 am

    chin up Ann this is no time for fear, there's only one way forward, follow Choi, he has to put his faith on a higher ground, than doubt or reason, it takes people of courage to face these odds, and their actions are necessary, it is a clear opportunity to show their desire. those already outed will either prove to be leaders, or have gone back into hiding in their communities fortunately people like Choi and Witt, understand what being of service means.

  • 16. Bill  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Lt. Dan Choi was just denied his application for the U.S. Marines.

    Not due to 'the gay' but due to 'the old age.'

  • 17. fiona64  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Is Choi over 28 years old? Really??


  • 18. Freddy  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Age is dependent on how many yrs of federal service that you have already and being able to complete 20 yrs of service before age 60, if Choi has five yrs now, he could be 45 and they could still take him.

  • 19. Kathleen  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Wikipedia reports he was born in 1981 in Orange County. California birth index shows a Daniel Choi born in Orange County 22 Feb 1981. If that's him, he's 29.

  • 20. Freddy  |  October 19, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Ok, after further checking, Dan Choi is 29 and has 8 yrs of federal service so with an age wavier, he could be 36 and be allowed back in. However, I am sure that the recruiters knowing his name and reputation would process the waiver and do the rest of the paperwork and then shove it in a desk drawer until a time when everyone had forgotten about it.

  • 21. fiona64  |  October 19, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Actually, Freddy — each service has a maximum age at which they will take a recruit (see the link I provided). The Army just raised theirs to 42 (it was 35, unless you got "waivered" for having a specific skill that was much needed). The USMC says 28; I thought he was younger than that. So, if he just turned 29, he ages out of their recruit maximum.


  • 22. Ronnie  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:52 am

    right…..because a few months ago while he was serving he was old enough…are you being serious….Bill?

    : / ….Ronnie

  • 23. Bill  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Yes, I just read his twitter post about it.

  • 24. Freddy  |  October 19, 2010 at 8:12 am

    @Fiona, I checked out the link that you provided right after I had responded to your post at 2:49, I guess I should have read it first, the army used to be lower than 35 but in the last decade or so they have been steadily raising the limit to attract new applicants, the prior service performed will have an impact on the age limit, for every year that you served, the age limit will go up by one.

  • 25. Ann S.  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:57 am

    He tweeted that he's applying for the Army because of the age thing and the Marines.

  • 26. Richard A. Walter (s  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:50 am

    They should just go along with the facts, and end DADT. Forget about wasting time with the biased studies and surveys created and run by WESTAT, just end this discriminatory piece of legislation and tell that little wimp John McLame, and that closet case Tony Perkins to both sit down and shut up. At least the gays have never ratted out their units to the Viet Cong, like McLame did, and contrary to Tony Perkins' claim, we are the ones who have to worry the most about being molested in the showers and the barracks because of the so-called straight guys who mistakenly think that we find every last one of them attractive.

  • 27. TPAKyle  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:56 am

    "Johnson is the co-chair of the Pentagon working group charged with implementing repeal."

    Anyone else concerned that this "uncertain" approach by the Pentagon is, by design, intended to generate controversy which can later be used to support arguments to maintain the ban?

    …or am I just being a paranoid conspiracy theorist? (ugh, how "fringe")…

  • 28. Don in Texas  |  October 19, 2010 at 8:27 am

    I don't really believe that there is an intention on the part of the Pentagon brass to subvert the Court's decision. If there is such and intention, the Constitution has just been flushed down the toilet.

  • 29. Steve  |  October 19, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Yeah, there is a huge amount of BS going on with regard to the surveys. Those are completely useless and totally biased. It's really fishing for the desired replies. And reportedly, they were worse before they got reworded.

    However, by other accounts the Working Group seems to takes its job seriously. That can't be said of the one in 1993, which was really rigged from the start. They ignored any evidence they didn't like, ignored thousands of pages of studies and reports and then came up with like a 15-page document outlining their predetermined conclusion.

    The current group on the other hand met with the partners of gay service members for example. That's about the first time the Pentagon actually acknowledged that they even exist. They seemingly didn't know how seriously DADT affects people and what it actually means. And they were completely floored by how serious those relationships are. Some of them have children and even grandchildren:

    And these days, with the internet, they wouldn't get away with the same kind of shenanigans.

  • 30. Sagesse  |  October 19, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Thank you. I've never seen any reporting on that meeting (probably for obvious reasons). It's wonderful that it took place, scary what they didn't know.

  • 31. TPAKyle  |  October 19, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Good points, Steve and Don. It was, indeed, the survey that prompted me to question the Pentagon's true intent.

    Fortunately, now that Dan Choi is back in we'll have additional data points to evaluate!

  • 32. Alan E.  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Instead of "BREAKING," perhaps it is "BENDING"?

  • 33. Don in Texas  |  October 19, 2010 at 8:23 am

    It seems to me that DADT is unconstitutional now and has been unconstitutional since the day Bill Clinton signed it into law in 1993. ["All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void." —Marbury vs. Madison, 5 US (2 Cranch)]["Unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it.

    "No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it."
    —16 Am Jur 2nd, Sec 177 late 2d, Sec 256]

    This being the case, it seems to me that those 14,000+ servicemembers discharged under DADT were separated unconstitutionally and their discharges are null and void. Justice would demand that they be reinstated, if they so desire, with the same rank and in the same position they held on the date of discharge. Furthermore, they are entitled to full restitution of all pay and allowances and promotions they would have received had they not been unlawfully separated from the military.

  • 34. Freddy  |  October 19, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Don, where I would love to agree with you about the restitution of pay and allowances for the period that they would have served had they not been discharged, it would be rather difficult to compute as some may have been discharged at the beginning of an enlistment contract and others may have been closer to the end of a contract with no intent on re-enlisting, the service member may have been in only for a short term for college money but then try and claim that they were intending on retiring just to get extra money, at the same time there may have been some discharges where the person would actually have been able to retire already and therefore drawing a pension.
    I would be happy with allowing the service member to return to military service with the rank held provided they could meet the physical requirements that are currently the standard such as ht/wt and be able to pass the pt test.

  • 35. Bob  |  October 19, 2010 at 8:39 am

    right Don, and that is why Choi's action today was very wise, because he proves he made every effort himself to be reinstated, they can never question his desire, if there is a class action, the other 14000 could follow his lead,, to show their desire. where's Whitt woot woot to Whitt

  • 36. Don in Texas  |  October 19, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Of course, if Judge Phillips' decision and her worldwide injunction are overturned, my previous statement is irrelevant.

  • 37. Don in Texas  |  October 19, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Don't know if this has been posted previously:

    Ninth Circuit sets schedule for appeal in LCR vs. US

  • 38. Bob  |  October 19, 2010 at 8:57 am

    great time lines, it gives Obama adminstration the time to end DADT before they have to defend it….

  • 39. Ronnie  |  October 19, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Hillary Clinton says "It Gets Better"….<3…Ronnie:

    "Take heart. And have hope. And please remember that your life is valuable, and that you are not alone. Many people are standing with you and sending you their thoughts, their prayers, and their strength. Count me among them."

  • 40. Gregory in SLC  |  October 19, 2010 at 9:18 am

    but…"I still support Civil Unions…." Hillary Clinton

  • 41. Gregory in SLC  |  October 19, 2010 at 9:21 am

    In the above video Hillary states she does NOT support Gay marriage…. does anyone know if she has changed her stance on this?

  • 42. Jim  |  October 19, 2010 at 9:22 am

    "The story of America is the story of people coming together to tear down barriers, stand up for rights and insist on equality, not only for themselves, but for all people." – Hillary Clinton, Oct. 19, 2010.

  • 43. Kathleen  |  October 19, 2010 at 9:19 am

    This story suggests recruiters may be finding way to appear to comply with the instructions without actually accepting anyone

  • 44. Kathleen  |  October 19, 2010 at 9:20 am

    JMG reports Choi accepted by Army

  • 45. Kathleen  |  October 19, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Sorry, wrong link:

  • 46. Gregory in SLC  |  October 19, 2010 at 9:24 am

    OH MY GOSH! That's GREAT news! 😀
    For the record I agree with Fiona…. cut the crap, just drop the stupid DADT already! Who cares if "messy" The people who have been kicked out are exceptional…not the deadbeats like Fiona's nephew…

  • 47. Bob  |  October 19, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Choi is brilliant, he definetly passes the desire test, even willing to re-inlist in the army to conform to the age requirements, this guys a LEADER any of the 14000 that don't follow his example, risk loosing their status in any further class action.

    They will need these open brave people to help inside with the implementation of open service, it's a way to get someone inside to work with cause those inside are still at risk a way to bridge the gap so to speak.

  • 48. Eden James  |  October 19, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Dan Choi YouTube interviews just posted to the thread. Refresh and check them out!

  • 49. Gregory in SLC  |  October 19, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Thanks Eden! I just LOVED Dan Choi's smile/elation 😀 another BIG step forward! I appreciate his words, " can serve….open, honestly, acknowledge partner…exiting, exhilarating, vindicating…." WOOT!!

  • 50. JonT  |  October 19, 2010 at 10:04 am

    OT, via JMG:

    "Hang Them": Uganda Paper Publishes Names And Photos Of "Top 100 Homos"

  • 51. Gregory in SLC  |  October 19, 2010 at 11:00 am

    no need to read this one to get a big shudder….YIKES! Happy Halloween from Uganda! : (

  • 52. Santa Barbara Mom  |  October 19, 2010 at 10:26 am

    OT ~ there is a ward member writing a paper and has asked me the following:

    "My paper focuses on the minority of what I'm learning is
    called the non gay. I guess those who have SSA and yet are ego dystonic . Any good info for this seemingly "forgotten" population?"

    Last night she emailed me and said she had been studying about Narth this past week and what were my feelings. I literally started shaking and had to wait a couple of hours before I could send a tactful reply, as my husband reminded me that she doesn't know anything about this topic. Could anyone here help me with a reply or sites I can refer her to?

  • 53. Gregory in SLC  |  October 19, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Hi Santa Barbara Mom 🙂

    Funny how just the word "Narth" can cause physically contortions!

    Since its someone with LDS background, there is always
    All kinds of information about reparative therapy. This group is industrious yet caring. (many return missionaries!)

    May not be exactly what she is looking for though….could expand her horizions and perhaps her heart to to invite her to watch:
    Born With the Wrong Body:

    The latter may be more in line what she is studying.

  • 54. JonT  |  October 19, 2010 at 11:11 am

    SBM. I had to look up 'ego dystonic' to even understand that question and it's implication. 🙂

    I cannot point you toward any references, but this concept, if not the actual term, should be fairly familiar to anyone who's ever 'wrestled' with being gay.

    According to wikipedia – 'Egodystonic is a psychological term referring to thoughts and behaviors (e.g., dreams, impulses, compulsions, desires, etc.) that are in conflict, or dissonant, with the needs and goals of the ego, or, further, in conflict with a person's ideal self-image. The concept is studied in detail in abnormal psychology, and is the opposite of egosyntonic.

    Obsessive compulsive disorder is considered to be an ego-dystonic disorder, as the thoughts and compulsions experienced or expressed are often not consistent with the individual's self-perception, causing extreme distress.

    I interpret this to basically mean (in my case), "I'm attracted to guys, but the world says this is wrong, I should be attracted to girls.'

    I will leave aside the implication that applying this term to LGBT implies some sort of mental dysfunction.

    Indeed, when I was about 15, on a home visit to my mom's house from whatever group home I was living in at the time, I had realized by this point that I was attracted to guys.

    Of course, I didn't like this too much. I remember telling my mom this, along with something to the effect that: "I'd rather be dead than gay." To which she responded: "That's the stupidest fucking thing you've ever said."

    Which completely shut down that conversation — but in hindsight, she was absolutely right. At that point, I knew I liked guys, but I didn't like it. So I tried to ignore it, repress it, pretend that those feelings weren't real. Hook up with the occasional girl so I could say "See! I'm not a homo!".

    I suppose I might have even been willing to try something like NARTH at that stage in my life.

    But then, that's the kind of attitude that people like NOM and the others try to foster. And it works – see the suicides for proof.

    When your friend says something like: 'My paper focuses on the minority of what I’m learning is called the non gay.', I think she does not see that the 'non-gay' as she puts it, is really just an artifact of how society's general disdain for LGBT people makes it really tough for LGBT to accept who they really are, and is not an innate classification of the individuals themselves.

    Indeed, organizations like NOM and others try very hard to make it as difficult for young people as possible to accept who they are.

    Of course there are those that manage to repress these feelings well into adulthood, marrying someone of the opposite sex, having children, etc. I can't say that these people to not pay a price for this repression.

    Anyway, my two cents, I hope that helps a little.

  • 55. Anthony  |  October 19, 2010 at 11:34 am

    It is hard to give an answer without a clearer question. I must say I have never heard of the 'non-gay'. Perhaps this is a reference to the 'ex-gay' group?

    If so, I would encourage you to point out that these are normal people who, in a manner of self preservation, are trying to find a way to fit in with their peers. I have no doubt that this group would be living a more full and happy life if it were not for the extremely hateful social pressure that creates such a toxic environment. I would have to (loosely) equate it with murder as a form of gang initiation. In order to fit in and be accepted by gang a new initiate of said gang would be peer pressured to make a kill. Clearly this is not an activity that happy humans regularly engage in.

    What I am saying really is that there is no 'ex-gay' group in the first place so much as normal healthy SSA individuals who have been terrorized on penalty of excommunication.

    I would also encourage you to have your friend actually read some of the articles on the NARTH website with a sceptical eye. In the one mentioning the Dr. Phil show the author mentions several times that all of the (presumably real) experts absolutely refuted everything the author espoused. I would also point out that the upper left hand corner has a statement defending itself to the general public. I know of no reputable scientific or medical agency or group that has ever had to do this.

    I would also encourage you to congratulate your friend on the interest shown in the subject. Even just a little bit of rational inquiry would quickly expose the phenomenon for what it is – institutionalized bullying on a massive scale. Let your friend know that the subject needs reasonable people to expose it to the public.

  • 56. Anthony  |  October 19, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Now that I read these comments again I would suggest you ask your friend to join the group here and post some questions and comments. Here she can get an entire community ready and willing to provide her with a multitude of viewpoints and a plethora of references.

  • 57. Bob  |  October 19, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    great attempt at explanation JonT the only reason I say attempt is because alarm bells are sounding for me, Troll
    If that's the case explanation is futile,,,,,,,

    You'll find that out as you proceed Santa Barbara Mom, because it also has potiential to open discussion around the whole subject from which you both may learn. what does she mean by the "forgotten population" it'll be quick to determine if she refers to those struggling and not clearly defined or haven't acted on it out of fear or guilt or whatever, and if she wants to help them or offer them NARTH

  • 58. Santa Barbara Mom  |  October 20, 2010 at 4:38 pm


  • 59. eDee  |  October 19, 2010 at 11:15 am

    {{Recruiters also have been told to inform potential recruits that the moratorium could be reversed at any point.}}

    {sarcasm} So we'll put you're gay on the application, but tomorrow things could change and we could kick you out for that very reason – so do you still want to join?

    ….. and the point?

    Gee wiz, can't we get good news that stays good and isn't possibly over turned or a cause for a summer hate bus tour, or comes with another court appearance?
    I give you all a lot of credit, I'm just an ally and this is driving me bonkers. I can't imagine being told one day that I can do something, the next day I can't, I can in this state, I can't in that state – AHHHH it's like slamming your head against the wall. How do you keep it all straight (so to speak) You're married in this state, not in that state, you can travel as a married couple in that country, but not in our own.
    I just slammed my head against a wall, I was wrong, this is worse!

  • 60. Felyx  |  October 19, 2010 at 11:39 am


    Welcome to Gay Hell. 😛

  • 61. JonT  |  October 19, 2010 at 11:41 am

    LOL Felyx 🙂

  • 62. eDee  |  October 19, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    @Felyx, LMAO!!
    {{Wouldn't that be 'Happy Hell' – somehow not so much comforting.}}

  • 63. Felyx  |  October 19, 2010 at 12:48 pm


    You know, I say this tongue in cheek but it is far worse than true. My life and the life of every other suicide inspired gay sufferer has been little more than a 'weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth' provided courtesy of Religious Disapproval Unlimited.

    Screw worrying about which state I am married in or how long I get to serve my country with my life before I am hunted down and ousted in humiliation; try being a teenager in a psych facility doing your damnedest to play along so you can be freed long enough to mercifully end it all! NOM and their ilk harass gays to the point of living hell and then use their unhappiness as proof of a 'poor lifestyle choice'. The official view of the Catholic Church at one time regarding suicide was that the suicider was given over to Satan and therefor could not be given a christian burial. So the suicider's death was blamed on his or her own sins and the community that needed to move on was denied the right to carry on with an important ritual. I am willing to bet that fear of discrimination, with SSA leading the parade, has been the chief reason for suicide in just about any Judeo-Christian society for the last 6,000 years.

    Rejection by family, school, the military, employers, gay lovers (who are equally tormented) and even the gay community itself that so often turned on itself in desperation and self-hatred has taken its toll. In personal emails I have had straight ally P8TTers ask me if I have mental disorders. What can I say? After enough torture anyone will go paranoid or develop a serious personality disorder. I don't think I was born with any serious flaw but even a cursory reading of my own comments over time suggest that I am sarcastic and edgy in a way that suggests bitterness and serious internal stress. In the beginning I would think, who is this guy Ronnie? He is nuts! Really out there. But after time I realized Ronnie has the good sense to let it out, put it out there while I am just internalizing it and seriously harming myself. I feel a real sense of admiration for Ronnie now that I just don't think I will ever have for myself.

    The truth is I have absolutely no self esteem. At one time I was (objectively speaking) skilled at language or writing or athletics or any number of things. Every new school grade, internship or job I started I was fresh and patient and willing to try one more time but being even closeted or non-committal led only to a paranoid sense that no one would ever have my best interests at heart. I am terrified to try anything now. And when I do, I end up defeating myself in a pit of despair. Do I have some mental disorder? Again, what can I say? If anything I would guess PTSD with any number of other related disorders. Most of my dreams involve me running or hiding or trying to avoid what is inevitably going to be a horrific situation. Then I wake up and don't really sleep again. It is a lucid sleep that leaves me disconnected and stressed. Sleep deprivations can define a mental illness in even the healthiest and most well adjusted individuals.

    I looked into the eyes of Kirill for the first time today and could not help but cry. I kept avoiding the obvious by changing the subject. If I didn't think I could make his life better I would never have dared to get involved. I am forced to acknowledge that I love him because I do, but I cannot deny that I see this action as being perhaps the only real success I may ever truly have. (Other than the nearly empty 'success' of having not yet killed myself. There is no hell waiting for me; at this point I stick around out of fear of a botched attempt and the hope that it might do some good one day.) I have divorced my family and hide from them in a gut-wrenching attempt at self-preservation, I am no longer able to qualify to serve my country (evidently not a right so then, what loyalty do I have to nationality now?!), I will most likely never finish school, my work history and the insane dismissals that amount to obfuscated unprovable discrimination is so messed up that I feel that not including any of it has a far better chance of success (which is little to none if I say I have no experience) and the one success I can claim, that of having so far survived, is thoroughly muted by the fact that I would much rather not be alive. I have told Kirill all this and I have pointed out that he is far too unexperienced to realized into what he is getting himself. He reminds me of what life he has to look forward to in Russia. What can I say?

    I guess the point is that mythical hell is far less terrifying that the real hell I have endured… that we still endure.

    You are not welcome to Gay Hell, no one is.

  • 64. Felyx  |  October 19, 2010 at 12:59 pm


    It is Gay Hell because you smile politely while they beat you and chuckle.

    I suggest you try Christian Hell (c). You get to hang out in a lake with cool pyrotechnics. As a practicioner of Christianism (c) you get to 'weep and wail' over perceived persecution by left wing liberals and if you lose all your teeth you can completely avoid the whole gnashing bit.


  • 65. Sagesse  |  October 19, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Oh Felyx. Life has not been kind to you, and you have your demons. But you can start from where you are today, take what you have, including Kirill, an make of it what you will. There's a saying, 'don't get mad, get even.' There's a lot of getting even going on right now. Stick around to see it.

  • 66. JonT  |  October 19, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    @Felyx: I have read your post, like 20 times. I cannot figure out how to respond appropriately in this kind of forum (commenting in a wordpress blog).

    Please feel free to email me at [email protected] (identifying who you are) and from there, I will provide my real email address in case you need to 'vent' in the future.

    I will try to address some of the points/pain in your post, in what limited way this forum allows:

    '…try being a teenager in a psych facility doing your damnedest to play along so you can be freed long enough to mercifully end it all!

    Been there. I can recall times when I looked for opportunities to 'end it'. In the state system though, you were rarely left alone, with the tools to do that.

    It wasn't until I was in college, in my dorm room alone, with my roomate's gun that that opportunity finally presented itself. But, I'll save that story for another time (and a much more limited audience).

    'So the suicider’s death was blamed on his or her own sins and the community that needed to move on was denied the right to carry on with an important ritual.'

    Exactly. The effect of this institutionalized hate creates such feelings of hopelessness and the thought that suicide is the only way out.

    The brief from AFER alluded to this fact – LGBT oppression leads to mental disorder, which of course means LGBT's are mentally disordered, leading to suicide. See how that works? Neat huh?

    'In personal emails I have had straight ally P8TTers ask me if I have mental disorders. What can I say? After enough torture anyone will go paranoid or develop a serious personality disorder. '

    In my admittedly non-professional view – it's a positive feedback loop. Pain leads to despair, which, strengthened by society's biases, leads to more pain… etc. Small surprise the suicides. Which of course the haters point to as evidence of LGBT's inherent 'mental weakness'… ad nauseum. Understand the bullshit – then you can't be deceived by it.

    'The truth is I have absolutely no self esteem.'

    Why not? You have skills. You have a boyfriend who loves you. Why do you give such a fuck about what other people think? Focus on that!

    I admit this is easier said than done, but having been on the brink of 'ending it all' at one point in my life – you have to learn to focus on the positive – like Kirille, and this wonderful community. There will always be negatives – there is no point in concentrating on those.

    'I looked into the eyes of Kirill for the first time today and could not help but cry.

    So you got to meet Kirille IRL? How fucking awesome is that? At least you got a boyfriend. Revel in it!

    And he's right WRT Russia – seen the videos that come from there? As bad as it sometimes seems in America, Russia is *far* worse!

    'I am forced to acknowledge that I love him because I do, but I cannot deny that I see this action as being perhaps the only real success I may ever truly have.'

    "I am forced to acknowledge that I love him…". Come on Felyx! You know how many people never even get that opportunity? How many go through their whole lives never getting the chance you have?

    Love him. Be with him. Fuck everyone else (figuratively of course :).

    '…and the one success I can claim, that of having so far survived, is thoroughly muted by the fact that I would much rather not be alive.'

    As my mom once said to me: "That’s the stupidest fucking thing you’ve ever said.”


  • 67. Felyx  |  October 20, 2010 at 11:37 am

    To everyone that responded, thank you. It helps to be able to just say things here and not worry about who cares and who doesn't.


    Have no fear that I will indeed stick around. I have learned to be exceptionally practical. I am not sure what I may have gained for all my pains but I know that my permanent absence would amount to a hefty loss for others. I may have lost my sense of self worth but I have not lost my sense of compassion. Hurting others, unless absolutely necessary, is something I cannot bear to even think of doing. (Can't resist the sarcastic irony in this… I would rather NOT die than hurt any other living being.)


    All the skill in the world has not yet made me happy and nor should it. Happiness comes from within and the ability to think well of oneself comes from the love and appreciation of others. Even incompetents and NOMbodies have self-esteem. This is how we are designed and rightly so. Railing against this is counterproductive. I hope one day to be surrounded by those who can love me patiently long enough to engender what my parents and society has not.

    Kirill will not make my happy either… so 'having' him as a boyfriend is nothing in which I, personally, would revel. Rather, and this I take it was your point, Kirill and I simply want to be together. That makes all the difference.

    I am neither eloquent nor especially personable in my writing style, Jon, so take this at face value when I say that, your comment was both very meaningful and highly uplifting. Thank-you.

    Thank you all,


    PS: I go to Russia in December. I have been told Russia is not all that much to look at… I am sure I won't notice.

  • 68. Bob  |  October 19, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Hell in this case is the belief that things will not change, caving in and accepting the uncertainty, allowing oneself to think someone else controls them, then using that as a reason for not acting, or hiding, or not facing it.

    Choi, chooses to accept all these unkowns and face them square on and bravely, he chose what his victory would be however temporary it is, for him to walk in that door and be accepted at all odds and in a demoted capacity was seen as a victory, he stepped through the window of opportunity that Judge Phillips had opened, and said I'm back, the smile on his face revealed a feeling of heaven not hell. Tomorrow may be a different thing,

    Today Choi made a choice and acted on it, he did not hide or cave in, he created his own heaven. follow Choi

  • 69. Bob  |  October 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Felyx, I hear you, I am in the same place, this morning I told my mother to F off, without actually using the word, we've been struggling with communication, but she came on so strong with the religious bigot thing, I told her to shove it where the sun doesn't shine, and we better just leave each other alone,
    Those thoughts of suicide come up again, I would just love to shut out all her noise in my head. But I came to the conclusion that my best revenge is to stay alive, that will really piss her off, If I put a bullet through my head and shut out the noise, she would be able to be a grieving mother and define our relationship the way she wants. I decided I won't give her that satisfaction, and she has to live with the unbearable fact that her son is gay, and won't stop talking about it….

    She wants to have a relationship with me as her son, but leave out any mention of the gay thing, duhhhh, I decided to act equal treat her like an adult and tell her to f off I don't need that in my life.

    I'm here for you Felyx, somtimes it seem futile, but we must use our minds, to create our own heaven or hell, baby steps my friend, hang in, let m know if there's anything I could do. sending love.

    and just a reminder the first I learned of love is that it is the opposite of all those negative experiences we just talked about.

  • 70. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  October 19, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    OK, these comments have me wondering, what advice do any of you have about how to have a warm, loving relationship with your parent(s) when there is not total acceptance of who you are. Is it possible? At what point do you say, sorry this is not working?

    As you should all know, my son is gay and I think he is wonderful. However, I'm beginning to think that people like me and Santa Barbara Mom aren't the norm (how can you not love and accept your own child is beyond me). How about someone like Cassie whose parents are struggling with her being a lesbian. What kind of advice would you give her as she struggles to have her parents accept her. When do you write them off, after 1 year, 2 years, 10 years?

    Just wondering.


  • 71. Bob  |  October 19, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Sheryl, good question, and you are the total opposite of my mother who chose her church over me,

    Every situation of course is different, and personally I relize the truth, that my mother is always my mother, I only have one, so that can never change.

    My mother and I have been struggling with this our whole lives, and I'm 60 she's 82, sometimes are better than others, and of course with the pressures of the issue so much in the media, it affects us personally, I chose to bring the issues to our relationship, things could be fine if I didn't bring them up, there was a long part of my life where we pretended, and I bought into the love the sinner hate the sin line that they hand you, I used that during a long pleriod of denial, but spritually I moved past that, and what caused me to do so was meeting people like you, in othe churches.

    So it was another assault on our relationship when I told my mother I no longer bought that lie. My mother clings as hard to her belief, as I do to liberation and acceptance of myself.

    I decide to break of the communication when it becomes abusive, I have to say enough, and it's the person who feels the abuse that gets to lable it. No one has a right to do that to me, it was slapping as a child, and know it's words , and guilt trip etc.

    I got my mother to agree to counselling on one occasion, the thing I learned from my counsellor is that my mother and I are very much alike in term of stubborness. The other thing I learned is that my mother will not take advantage of outside help, her only reliance is on her pastor.

    So we are two old folks fighting an age old battle in a modern setting, my victory is that the issue is home, in my family, I don't hide it any longer.

    Younger people have different circumstances, and I'd say parents struggling with the issue is a positive sign, that they are aware of it, and many do find the ability to work it through, it is not always easy, so there is hope for Cassie, the most important thing is for her to have support from the LGBT community resources and counselling so that she will be encouraged to find her own acceptance with or without her parents approval.

    there are no set timelines for possible revelations changes of heart and mind. I like that Cassie share herselft with her parents, it is right that they are struggling with this, Consdering they're not the type to respond automatically with love, It's an indication that they themselves are exploring what love is, And Cassie can define what love is for her irrespective of how her parents are doing with that ability,

    Sheryl againg you are a role model and example of a person who loves herself, and acts from that love, and asks questions later, we need to know there are people like you out there.

  • 72. Rhie  |  October 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Very good question. No, you aren't the norm, at all. The short version is that those parents who aren't like you are brainwashed into loving the church (notice I said the church not Jesus) more than their own family. If you want to see evil in action, the devil (if he exists) in act, that's it right there.

    As for the answer…it's complicated and personal. I can only answer for myself. I have a really good relationship with my Mom. We haven't discussed my sexuality out right. I don't know if she knows and I don't really care. I'm not going to say it out the blue but if she asks, I will tell. If I ever have a steady girlfriend I will tell her.

    I don't talk to my Dad hardly at all. I say Merry Christmas each year and that's about it. I would never, ever tell him about any person I was dating, man or woman. I don't trust him and don't really like him.

    I went through a big blow up with both parents a couple of years ago. I still talk to Mom because she tried and has always tried to talk to me, to understand me, to listen to me and generally treat me with respect. We have had our blow ups but I have rarely questioned her love for me, and never recently.

    Dad is patronizing, cruel, bullying and condescending. Every conversation we have had in the last three years has ended with him calling me a liar and telling me I "must know" he is right with his Churchianity and extreme conservative views, and that's why I was so angry at him.

    Those are my limits. Others might have different answers.

  • 73. Bob  |  October 19, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Felyx, realize this fact, these feelings you are describing are not permanent, right now you are down, this will pass, there is plenty of proof of your up side on this blog site,

    moods change, this too shall pass, let it pass, the frame of mind you describe is not the place from which to make any decision, the only decison you could make in this state is the one to place a call, and talk with someone, or respond by e-mail to Jon's invitation, if you aren't able to let it pass,

    there are very good remedies to soothe an overactive mind, and restore you to a place of natural sleep,

  • 74. Felyx  |  October 20, 2010 at 11:38 am


    Hell, to me, is not at all a belief. It is a physical and mental state that can actually be experienced right now right here. There is a well known example of heaven and hell that is described as two banquet halls populated with people without elbows. Everything is identical save the attitudes of the people. In one, the reality of the situation is acknowledged and the people act accordingly by sharing and offering assistance one to another. by feeding each other, as elbowless individuals are somewhat prevented from moving food from plate to mouth, everyone can partake of the repast and enjoy the fullness of the occasion. In the other, selfishness reigns and hording of food results in bitter hateful starving people. It has taken me sometime, but I have begun to gather a few of the aforementioned individuals with the more cooperative outlook all the while learning how to deal with the more competitive self-interested set. The results are encouraging. I wonder if it would be possible to design or engineer social organizations that could bring about, without coercion, a world of cooperative individuals… something to consider, methinks.

    Choi's 'example' is truly irrelevant to my case and has no bearing on it. It is, however, gratifying to see him succeed.

    The mention of your relationship with your mother really hit home though. It took me over a decade to realize that my father (and perhaps others in my family) are seriously mentally disordered. Religion, and personally held strong beliefs, seem to be a form of maintaining a sense of control over otherwise seemingly unalterable circumstances. In my case, my father not only was not a benefit to me in anyway but was also a detriment in a far worse way than just emotional. (One of his more sinister traits is that he is a highly skilled stalker. I have taken extraordinary great pains to remain hidden from him and others. I cringe and sometimes panic when I see pictures of me on the internet.)

    I would recommend that you acknowledge that you love your mother and that this feeling is somewhat irrevocable. (There is a difference between merely knowing this and understanding its deeper implications.) If her actions are damaging to you then you are wise to end the relationship. Maternal bonds end at inappropriate behaviour. Once you realize that it is still beneficial to you to still love her, especially absently, regardless of how she acts you may gain a sense of resigned peace about the whole thing. Don't underestimate the value of not wasting energy hating her. Devising a way to 'give up and move on' can be very rewarding. I will mention the one thing I ever did to actually spite my father… feel free to use it. I told him one day that he never taught me either by word or particularly by example how to actually 'live in the Catholic Spirit' and that for this reason I was under no actual obligation to honor him. I told him to find his nursing home now as I felt no need even to bother to send him to one. I know my father. This comment really burned.

    Anyway, I appreciate your comments Bob. Thank-you.


  • 75. Bob  |  October 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    @Felyx, thanks for your response and recommendations, you have a great capacity for empathy, and I love your example, well said,

    I do want to point out the reference to Choi above, was a response to a different post, I didn't intend it to appear where it did, nor to have any reflection on your situation,

    I'm so glad to hear you back and up, to some extent, and it's very encouraging that you where able to read through the tangled words, and understand it was meant to reach out,,,,,,,,,,, I really am grateful of your ability to offer encouragement, and understand what you say about not wasting time on hate, I struggle with that at times.

    I am also thankful for wise psychiatric counsel, who found me the appropriate medication, for anxiety, it has the effect of turning my mind off, so when the racing thoughts come, I use a couple of approaches, and the first is mind training techniques, to identify, certain categories of thought, one I lump as family or mother(my father is dead) and when I realize I'm dwelling on these thoughts, I change my thinking, and that process in combination with the anixiety meds. gives me full refreshing deep sleep, which is vital.

    Felyx I'm happy you are going to Russia, I watched a movie forget the name, but it was a train trip across Russia in the dead of winter, I would love to take that trip, much love to you adn Krill, give him a hug for me when you are together My grandparents left Russia during the revolution. And I totally get what you mean about your happiness does not come from Krill, you are so blessed to know this, it was a revelation for me to realize I must love myself first, and share that love with my husband. It took work for both of us to learn that, and it brings happiness.
    thank you for the courage to share yourself like you do.

    I appreciate and learn from you thank-you cheers Bob

  • 76. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  October 20, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Thanks, Bob, Rhia, and Felyx for your responses to my question. it must be/have been so difficult for each of you to go thru this with your families.

    At your mother's age, Bob, probably not much hope that she will view her faith any differently, unless a new pastor takes over with different views than her current pastor (always a possibility).

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 77. Bob  |  October 20, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Sheryl, "Bob, probably not much hope" I know quoted out of context, but that just made me bust a gut laughing, really forget my mothers age, but my age, really I should have moved on ages ago, I'm having a teen age rebellion in my old age cause I didn't do that when I should have, no time like the plresent. My god how I pray for a new pastor to come along.

    thanks for the insight you are truly a treasure nothing like a good laugh, I could just grow up and act my age, but that's too boring, I still want to raise a little hell. cheers

  • 78. Ronnie  |  October 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    @Felyx….I did read what you posted & I just wanted to say that I didn't know what to say….Thank you for the acknowledgment….but I thought about it…re-read it…& though again…just got these emails of your replies …& read them then re-read the original…everybody pretty much said what I would have said….but I'm going to add my own little flare to it…

    You have contributed a lot to this community & are, with out a doubt in my mind important to this community, cause, & me even though we haven't publicly met.(I hop ewe do someday)…I enjoyed hearing about you & Kirill….little secret…I'm a little jealous of you guys…shhh..don't tell him I told you…Kirill you didn't see that..shhh…don't tell Felyx I told you that I told Felyx not tell you that you didn't see that….& I just confused myself….lol…. ; ) ….

    Anyway, I digress…I highly recommend venting, ranting..let it out…it is very therapeutic…..I have always been outspoken & independent. I don't sugar coat things. & I say it as it is..(I've been trying to simmer it down a little lately…lol)…. I get it from my Mother. She is a strong & independent woman who I am honored to have been raised by….But I have to disagree with you on something…I think you have a good sense of self-esteem…Just to write what you have written just here shows i think you're underestimating yourself…nay.. I know you are…You were able to point out what has been bothering you & what is bothering you & even would might bother you in the future…you wrote down..& you posted it here for many to see….that takes courage & you can't have courage without self-esteem

    so I'm going to end with this because I've been a little under the whether lately my allergies are attcking my like a Gathering storm…..hahahaha…you like what I did there?….NOM (I know you're watching…Hi Louis!) you suck ( & not in the good way)…I laugh at you….

    I digress again…I'm ending with this…Felyx (now I'm trying to be serious here so bare with me) if you ever hurt yourself…. I will find you & slap you like Cher slapped Nicholas Cage in "Moonstruck'….you got it buddy?…. Cher… slap… moonstruck…OoooO…(flips hair)…….. ; )


  • 79. Felyx  |  October 21, 2010 at 8:23 am


    You are positively psychic with the videos!

    There is one especially shining bright spot in my life. I lived with my Grandmother for years. She was wonderful and beautiful. Her humor was unmatched.

    Every night we would watch a video together. Nearly 3/4 of the time it was A Walk in the Clouds. Neither of us thought Reeves was any good of an actor, but the movie was excellent and oh so meaningful to her. "What do you think we should watch tonight Mom?" (Gramma *was* my mother.) "I don't know, ever see A Walk in the Clouds?"

    But the other 1/4 of the time it was "Moonstruck". We would be in public and we would quote lines verbatim we knew it so well. One day my dad was berating me for some gay related thing and I was trying to convince him to change his mind. He punched me and told me to come to my senses. (Get out of the 'phase' I was going through.)

    She walked in at that moment and heard and saw. He turned to her and asked her what she had to say about it. She looked at him and then me, She slapped him (not as hard though) and told me to 'Snap out of it.' (At least I saw the humor in it, he stomped off not knowing what to make of it… he could hit his wife but not his mother!)

    Anyway, when Kirill comes to the US nothing would please me more than to take a tour of the US. I have lived here all my life and I can't think of anything better to do than to tour this land. I would love, also, to visit so many of you in this P8TT community… what a honeymoon that would be!

    KIT Ronnie through the facebook page. One day it will happen and we will come to meet you in person.


  • 80. Dave P.  |  October 21, 2010 at 9:00 am

    "Anyway, when Kirill comes to the US nothing would please me more than to take a tour of the US. I have lived here all my life and I can’t think of anything better to do than to tour this land. I would love, also, to visit so many of you in this P8TT community… what a honeymoon that would be!"

    Just a reminder – I wasn't kidding about paying for the accommodations for you two if you decide to come out the the SF bay area. Legal marriage or not, it's a wedding gift for the two of you. Keep me posted about any plans and we'll get it set. In case you don't have my direct email I'm davep2 at sbcglobal dot net or david dot peck at avid dot com. And you get a free San Francisco tour guide (me) if you want, or you can just keep the 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the doorknob all week, your choice : )

  • 81. DaveP  |  October 21, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Hi Felyx,

    Your comment about self esteem got my attention.

    There was a time in my life, about 20 years ago, when I had made a mess of my life (please bear with me – I am NOT suggesting that you have done anything of the sort! Any self esteem issues that you may have are clearly due to external events, not your own choices). I'm not at liberty to go into specifics here, but suffice to say that eventually I finally had reached a point where I had had enough of the way I was living and I reached a turning point and began to set things right. The point of telling you this is that, during this time, someone who was helping me to turn my life around gave me some advice that I desperately needed to hear.

    He told me "If you want self esteem, perform esteemable acts".

    Again, I would not presume to tell you what you should do or how you should feel. My point is that, just from what I have been reading here since the beginning of this year, I can see that you perform a LOT of esteemable acts. It's just your nature. Just reading the words you have written here, and taking in the ideas and feelings behind them, has made me a better person. I'll say it again. You have changed me. For the better.

    So for what it's worth, you are certainly entitled to a lot of self esteem, even if you may not be able to get in touch with it. You've earned it.

    I suppose like a lot of us, I tend to keep a little mental image of some of the regular posters here in out P8TT community. For you, I picture you and Kirille happily married in a little while. Living in a safe and happy home that you have made for yourselves, in a big healthy community of good friends who support you and care about you and who are priveleged to know you. I'm mentioning this just in case you want to borrow the image.

    Thanks for being here.

  • 82. Felyx  |  October 21, 2010 at 8:43 am

    When I first wrote this I was just trying to paint a singular example of true Gay Hell. I must have tapped something a bit deeper. I sometimes forget that I am not the only one in the world that feels imprisoned in a psychological Nazi-style concentration camp.

    I have a hard time rationalizing just how a 'Heaven' would manifest itself and still keep with the laws of physics (or even metaphysics) but it is interesting to think of a 'heaven' only afterlife where one gets to feel and experience everything that one has effected in the world. I think that I would have a rather easy time of it… I really seek to help people out and improve their well-being. I can imagine that feeling the emotions of all the people I have touched would be an amazing experience! Truly 'heavenly'! I cringe at the thought of what others would have to experience in such a cosmology. Too bad we can't get instant feedback, human society would transform itself virtually overnight.

    Anyway, thank you Dave. Thank you all of you!


  • 83. Ronnie  |  October 21, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Here is video one of Dan Choi taking DADT question on C-Span… He is awesome….our soldiers shouldn't have to go through this….Heterosexuals soldiers don't have to so neither should LGBT soldiers…<3…Ronnie:

  • 84. Ronnie  |  October 21, 2010 at 7:51 am

    & here is part 2…this is great…..I love it…..he said it as it is….."The fact that you go directly to sex…I don't know what's on your mind all the time…but if that's all you think about….then that's for you"….this woman asked him about the showers, & barracks…he did a good job at debunking that…& got some snark in their too…IIIIIIIIII…love it!!!!…<3…Ronnie

  • 85. JonT  |  October 21, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I love this guy. Thanks for all the vids Ronnie! 🙂

  • 86. Ronnie  |  October 21, 2010 at 11:43 am

    you're welcome…<3..Ronnie

  • 87. Ronnie  |  October 21, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Woah….Lt. Dan Choi..I can't get enough of him…I am honored to have shaken this mans hand…He is definitely one of my heros…

    video of him Lt. Dan Choi blasting the Obama administration for the temporary stay on DADT…..<3…Ronnie:

  • 88. Dave P.  |  October 21, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Agreed, Ronnie. Many of Choi's off-the-cuff remarks and answers to questions from the press during on-the-street interviews are just perfect. This guy has a great way of getting the message across. The more face time Choi gets the better for all of us.

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