Cover image for Soldier of change : from the closet to the forefront of the gay rights movement
Soldier of change : from the closet to the forefront of the gay rights movement
Snyder-Hill, Stephen, author.
Publication Information:
[Lincoln] : Potomac Books, an imprint of the University of Nebraska Press, [2014]
Physical Description:
xx, 198 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
A leap of faith -- Don't say gay -- Boot camp and Bible study -- Lost and found in Iraq -- Pink triangles -- Just be you -- Back in the saddle, back in the closet -- This looks like a gay dude's house -- Jessica Josh -- Cemetery ceremony and insensitive sensitivity -- The debate -- The fallout -- The lawsuit -- Prepping for the public eye -- Did Rosa Parks have a roommate? -- The right to hyphenate -- Presidential momentum -- One year of freedom -- All aboard the C-Bus of love -- Chariots and superheroes -- Activism vs. politics -- Trust the power of your voice.
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
UB418.G38 S69 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
UB418.G38 S69 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
UB418.G38 S69 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
UB418.G38 S69 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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When "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the official U.S. policy on gays serving in the military, was repealed in September 2011, soldier Stephen Snyder-Hill (then Captain Hill) was serving in Iraq. Having endured years of this policy, which passively encouraged a culture of fear and secrecy for gay soldiers, Snyder-Hill submitted a video to a Republican primary debate held two days after the repeal. In the video he asked for the Republicans' thoughts regarding the repeal and their plans, if any, to extend spousal benefits to legally married gay and lesbian soldiers. His video was booed by the audience on national television.

Soldier of Change captures not only the media frenzy that followed that moment, placing Snyder-Hill at the forefront of this modern civil rights movement, but also his twenty-year journey as a gay man in the army: from self-loathing to self-acceptance to the most important battle of his life--protecting the disenfranchised. Since that time, Snyder-Hill has traveled the country with his husband, giving interviews on major news networks and speaking at universities, community centers, and pride parades, a champion of LGBT equality.

Author Notes

STEPHEN SNYDER-HILL joined the military in 1988 and served nearly three years on active duty in Germany and fought in the first Gulf War in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Kuwait before his honorable discharge in 1996. He reenlisted in 2001 and was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn in 2010. Throughout his military career Snyder-Hill received numerous awards and decorations, including the Meritorious Service Medal. GEORGE TAKEI is an actor, social justice activist, and author of Oh Myyy! There Goes the Internet . He is best known for his portrayal of Sulu in the Star Trek television series and movies.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The profound damage done to gay and lesbian soldiers under the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is keenly observed in this memoir by Snyder-Hill, an openly gay soldier who gained national attention in 2011 when he was booed by Republicans during a presidential debate. Using this incident as a framing device, Snyder-Hill recounts his experiences, beginning at age 19, when he served in the first Gulf War under the ban on gays in the military, and in 2010, under DADT. After years of living openly, and rejoining the military after the September 11 attacks, his candid rendering of life in, out, and back in the closet is intentionally jarring and infuriating in its arbitrariness, while the generally relaxed, frequently humorous reaction in the military to his public coming out reveals much about the hurtful lie at the center of DADT. With courageous vulnerability, he reveals the pain and anger of being required to lie in order to serve. Leaving for Iraq, he is forced to pretend that his partner, Josh, is his brother, and while other couples say good-bye, he writes: "I looked over at Josh, and he was all alone." Snyder-Hill offers a moving and insightful epitaph to a destructive policy. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xvii
Acknowledgmentsp. xix
1 A Leap of Faithp. 1
2 Don't Say Gayp. 9
3 Boot Camp and Bible Studyp. 17
4 Lost and Found in Iraqp. 22
5 Pink Trianglesp. 32
6 Just Be Youp. 47
7 Back in the Saddle, Back in the Closetp. 55
8 This Looks Like a Gay Dude's Housep. 65
9 Jessica Joshp. 71
10 Cemetery Ceremony and Insensitive Sensitivityp. 83
11 The Debatep. 95
12 The Falloutp. 106
13 The Lawsuitp. 117
14 Prepping for the Public Eyep. 124
15 Did Rosa Parks Have a Roommate?p. 136
16 The Right to Hyphenatep. 146
17 Presidential Momentump. 155
18 One Year of Freedomp. 167
19 All Aboard the C-BUS of Lovep. 173
20 Chariots and Superheroesp. 180
21 Activism vs. Politicsp. 185
22 Trust the Power of Your Voicep. 192
Epiloguep. 197