Coming Out Under Fire. The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II. Twentieth Anniversary Edition. By Allan Bérubé. With a new foreword by John. Coming Out Under Fire has ratings and 48 reviews. As Allan Berube writes at the close of this book, “the generation of gay men and women who served in. Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II. Allan Bérubé . Coming home with a stronger sense of themselves as gay.

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Project MUSE – Coming Out Under Fire

Well documented but so repetitive and with little narrative. Or which might end in a formal charge.

And because of the availability of historical sources, the book focuses mostly on white gay men, but there are clear attempts to widen the scope and a more detailed explanation in the notes at the end of the book. The period of tolerance in the immediate post-war period quickly yielded to homophobic witch hunts in the cold war.

It is important that the service and sacrifices of these men and As Allan Berube writes at the close of this book, “the generation of gay men and women who served in World War II grew into adulthood fighting one war for their country and another to protect themselves from their government’s escalating mobilization against them.

It is one of the sad ironies of gay wartime history that at a time when America was fighting a war supposedly for freedom, against racism, intolerance and persecution, it was stripping gay servicemen and women of all rights, interrogating, humiliating and brutalising them, holding them in ‘queer stockades’, denying their service and sacrifice.

Relying on their own secret culture of slang, body language, and “camp” to find each other and build spontaneous communities, they learned, both on and off the battlefield, to be proud of their contribution and of who they were. Coming Out Under Fire is a thoroughly fascinating, detailed study of a crucial transitional period in American society.


Coming Out Under Fire Plume book. One of the most vindictive punishments meted out to these veterans was the denial of GI benefits that included federally subsidized home loans; college loans with allowances for subsistence, tuition, and books; unemployment allowances; job training and placement programs; disability pensions and hospital care.

This was a really interesting read.

Psychiatrists Discover the Gay GI,” he describes the research undertaken by military psychiatrists to better diagnose homosexuality in men. It is a triumph. One did not even need to be caught in the act or to have hnder any homosexual acts at all – mere ‘tendencies’ were enough. Felt more like a text book. Want to Read saving…. The author interviewed dozens of soldiers, using their words to describe their experiences.

Top officials at the Veterans Administration were responsible for this denial, contrary to Army policy and Undfr, but nonetheless the VA refused to drop its anti-homosexual prohibition.

Hopefully they’re all around for other people to use. But at the same time, psychologists went after them for the first time, and the things they put them through were traumatic and awful–putting them in brigs that were really cages, displaying them for humiliation, turning them out of service for sexual psychopathy, which they then had to bring t Interesting and somewhat horrifying history of gay service people in world war ii. At other times the psychiatrists, who were charged with reporting a man’s or woman’s fitness for duty, might betray and report them.

Coming Out Under Fire – Allan Berube – Google Books

I will, as always in books like this, point out that though Berube pays lip service to bisexual and transgender people in the text, their ou appearances are minimal at best which is to say that some of the folks interviewed or talked about might have identified as bisexual, though Berube is not explicit in identifying any, and, in the case of transgender people in particular, are wholly absent which is really interesting, given the rich history of particularly transgender people serving in the military.


The controversy over blue discharges even led to public discussion that was not always unsympathetic to homosexuals. Fighting Another War pp. Purchase Subscription prices and ordering Short-term Access To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.

Mainly because the military assumes that sexual orientation in some way reflects on ability to carry out the necessary functions of a sold This book was fascinating and thought provoking.

Two 8-page photo inserts. Homosexuality was deemed incompatible with military service – the old stereotypes of gay men as effeminate, weak, flighty, hysterical, physically incapable doing their part to reinforce this belief. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. There was also the question of what sort of discharge would apply—i. Queer people fought in a war only to find that their own military, their own country, did not consider them people, but sexual psychopaths, deviants and perverts.

Selected pages Title Page.

Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War Two

Psychiatrists, by trying to shift the military procedures from criminalization of sex acts to the medical handling of “latent” or “confirmed” homosexuals, began whether they realized it or not to create the basis for recognizing the homosexual person as a problem, independent of what undwr did. In the ‘s, sodomy was a criminal act in the United States.

Although I do have beribe say that I struggled to get through some of the chapters, mainly those focusing on psychiatric work or the law situation back then. Rights, Justice, and a New Minority pp. The women were similarly treated, sometimes even more extremely reviled by their comrades in arms and their officers. Email alerts New issue alert.