Melanie Nathan July 27-2010 - The article (1)I wrote asking Dan Choi for answers about his discharge from the Military and motivations was completely ignored by Dan. He has yet to answer my very direct questions. In the meantime Dan Choi, DADT Veteran, who left the army a year ago to join the National Guard and then discharged under DADT a month ago, has continued to up the ante. Certainly that would seem to be the case as far as DADT activism is concerned – Giving Senator Reid his West Point Ring and negotiating deals around its return-certainly speaks to Reid’s re-election bid with LGBT support and the Repeal of DADT as the quid pro quo oh and of course the Ring as collateral.
However as long as questions in articles remain unanswered by the one to whom they are addressed, there is a tendency for the populace to become impatient, questioning, doubting and so the tips start to roll in from unnamed sources and a behind the scene confidential brew fest results in acquiescence reminiscent of drunken courage, resulting in the very answers the article sought in the first place.
One of many sources who asked to remain anonymous, has informed Lez Get Real “I know for a fact that what you are saying about Lt. Choi is true and factual. He spoke at Texas A & M. Lt. Choi was one of my biggest inspirations because I too am a US Veteran, and I am gay too. I have since also questioned his motives tremendously, and lost a lot of respect for him as a person, and as a soldier and activist.
He required Texas A & M to pay him $7500 and then tacked on an additional $2300 for travel expenses. He also required that they fly him first class. His agent is also a miserable human being. Since this was done through a school I’m sure there are records of it.
Although I respect Lt. Choi for the things he has done and continues to do for DADT, I question his motives. And honestly, an apology at this point will suffice. But I’m not a big fan of gossip or smearing anyone’s name. However, I do believe that the truth should be out there, and I thank you for having the courage to put it out there.”
Dan has had ample opportunity to answer questions over some time now posed by Lezgetreal and to come on the record – an interview – whatever! Yet he has failed to come forward. Instead he continues to forage for publicity, like the Ring deal mentioned above. Publicity is okay if it is purely about DADT. But my question is does he take his risks and jump on stages, hunger strike for a few days and tie himself to the White House to up his price? Or does he do it all purely for the repeal of DADT. If some believe that the Choi antics in fact do not serve DADT well, then there is a perceived conflict of interests; is that detrimental to our cause? Money vs. Cause? That could certainly be the case, unless we can be convinced otherwise.
The nature of his behavior is what impacts and ups his price on the speaker circuit, whether motivated by such or not; some of the antics may not be good for DADT repeal. My assertion is that if one does not have pure motives while being an activist, hampered by publicity stunts that serve to raise one’s price, and get one from coach to first class, points to a serious conflict of interests, unless the boundaries are very clear and then not crossed. In this instance Dan’s silence has created doubt as to whether there are any boundaries at all.
To add insult to injury, I recently, reviewed a speech given by Dan Choi at Harvard where he criticized organizations using the movement and the suffering of others to make money. All the while charging the likes of $7-10K himself or certainly poised to head that way very soon thereafter.
As another source said: “I believe in his actions, his civil disobedience, and everything he’s done for the movement, however this calls into question the motives behind it – when he has an agent – and then charges college students obscene amounts of money to come and speak. It sickens me that he got up on stage and said all of that while meanwhile he’s making almost 10K just to be there! “
To all those who have come out in support of my first Article, and the bravery of the other LGR writers who have tackled this question, thanks for the validation. Bridgette LaVatoire and Dr. Paula Brooks, have taken great risks at whatever cost, to try and keep readers well informed.
We have gone to great risk of alienation to get truth out and will continue to do so. I completely understand and respect those of you who have expressed confusion and thank those of you have spoken to me about what you know to be the truth.
I am sure Dan Choi is afraid to interview with Lezgetreal as we are now perceived as his greatest critic. Should he choose another forum to answer these questions he may decide to do so on another BLOG or perhaps even in a paid forum – however I assert a soft interview will never replace the follow up questions that we at LGR will have.