Friday, 8 February 2008

65 - Gays in the Military: Mort Gerberg

Mort Gerberg in "The Realist", September 1966

from the ever-growing archive of "The Realist" at

Well here, Mort Gerberg pretty much supplies every gag about swishy gays in the harsh, regimented, potentially fatal world of enlisted life one could want. Gerber had done a previous exercise for the “The Realist” society in the same vein, “The Junkie Battalion” - another set of gags about a subsection of society who would be inappropriate in the army. Although, given “The Realist”’s leftish politics, there’s probably underlying assumption that the army and its behaviour are themselves wholly inappropriate.
Of course homosexuality and the army were in definite conflict at this time. Being gay, or at least convincing the selection board, was a good way of avoiding the draft. Brian de Palma’s 1968 comedy, “Greetings” features Robert DeNiro, Gerrit Graham and Jonathan Warden as young men in New York City concocting various schemes to avoid the draft. Faking being gay is one of them – if I remember, feather boas and coming onto a sergeant make up part of this plan. It’s been a few years since I saw it.

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