Author Pens Memoir About Being Black, Openly Gay and in the Military During Iraq War

Black Gay Veteran Rob Smith says being out in the Army was no picnic during the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" Era in his new book Confessions of a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Soldier: How a Black, Gay Man Survived the Infantry, Coming Out, and the War in Iraq.

In an article for Queerty he shares excerts from the book saying.

The U.S. Army is both homophobic…

The drill sergeant’s eyes twinkled and a smile spread widely across his lips. Suddenly, I was afraid, and I felt a wave of fear unleash within me. I knew what was coming, which was possibly the worst thing that could come out right now. This had followed me since the sixth grade in Ohio, and it appears that it just hopped the flight down to the South.

“What are you, a faggot?” He said.

It was less of a question and more of a pronouncement, made loud enough so that everyone in the staging area could hear it. “This motherfucker was eyeballin’ me because he’s a fucking, faggot! Yeah, that’s what you are, right?”

“No, Drill Sergeant!” His head whipped back around toward me. The other recruits and the officers staged in front of us were barely pretending not to pay attention any longer. This was quickly becoming quite the scene.

“What the fuck did you say?”
“No, Drill Sergeant, I’m not a faggot, Drill Sergeant!” I yelled.

…AND homoerotic

I found myself in the restroom next to another recruit. He was the very definition of a southern white boy, with a freshly buzzed head just like the rest of us. He had a slight scar on his upper lip that I assumed was from shaving before he got the hang of it, destined to be an eternal reminder of his less than seamless transition into adolescence. With nobody else in the restrooms, we stepped up to the partition-free urinals together, and as he took his dick out. I couldn’t help but let my eyes wander down and to my left very quickly, before looking back up.

It was a move I’d perfected years before, when I found myself more and more curious about what the other guys had to offer in that area. I was pee-shy, so I figured I’d let him go before I would, but then I felt his presence beside me increase. When I looked to my left he was looking directly at me with an intensity that seemed to be coming from him in waves. I looked down at his now-erect penis that was poking out from a small bush of blond pubic hair, another thing I had never seen before. He stroked it intently, his fingers gliding ever so lightly around the head, which unlike mine was completely free of any skin around the area. The silence between the two of us was punctured only by his sharp inhales of pleasure. I looked back up at him, and the scarred corner of his lip turned up in a devilish half-smile.

In the barracks, the horseplay can get a little gay

In the first few weeks my platoon mates seemed to be doing everything possible to entice me out of the closet. Indeed, some of the downtime in between PT, training, and meals was filled with enough homoerotic behavior to make a gay porn star blush. Late one weekend afternoon when there was no training and most of the drill sergeants weren’t around, I laid lazily on my bed reading over some mail that had come from home. When I glanced over at Rogers, he was fidgeting around with his footlocker restlessly. He was bored, as usual.

He’d managed to catch the attention of myself, Gramps, and Gordon, another jovial character that bunked just down from us. We looked curiously at him as he pulled out a small tube of hand lotion from his footlocker, and tiptoed over to Hernandez’s bunk and released a small amount of it onto Hernandez’s right cheek. Hernandez continued in his slumber, not realizing that right above him Rogers had removed his PT shorts and was trying to get a rise out of his flaccid, fat brown penis right above the area where he’d sprayed the lotion. I wondered where this was going, and leaned in eagerly to find out…

The book can be purchased here:


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