'Ala saHtak, 'azizi.
So I wasn't going to post about this at all. Dan is a friend of mine, and while I am concerned about him, I also respect his privacy and wasn't going to spread it all around. He wanted to make it public, however, so here ya go: He has decided to seek treatment for stress and is currently in a VA hospital.
Dan Choi (for those of you who don't know) has been, for the past few years, the face of the fight against Don't Ask, Don't Tell. He has sacrificed his privacy as well as time for the work necessary to bring this huge issue before the American people. I admired him long before he ever became my friend. Even if you don't agree with him, you have to admit: He's got balls. Unfortunately, the stress of being center stage can be hugely crushing, and Dan is having a hard time right now.
He released to Pam Spaulding the following statement:
I did not initially want to publicize this but I now realize it is critical for our community to know several things: veterans gay or straight carry human burdens, Activists share similar burdens, no activist should be portrayed as super human, and the failures of government and national lobbying carry consequences far beyond the careers and reputations of corporate leaders, elected officials, High powered lobbyists, or political elites. They ruin lives. My breakdown was a result of a cumulative array of stressors but there is no doubt that the composite betrayals felt on Thursday, by elected leaders and gay organizations as well as many who have exploited my name for their marketing purposes have added to the result. I am certain my experience is not an isolated incident within the gay veteran community. At the same time, those who have been closest to me know that I truly appreciate their gracious help and mentorship. I am indebted to their hospitality and leadership.
I am, understandably I think, upset about the news and wish Dan a speedy recovery. If you have well-wishes for him, please leave them in the comments and I will ensure he gets them.