Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dan Choi is in the Hospital

 '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.  


  1. Thank You Lt. Choi for your bravery, your activism and your candor. You are very wise to pause, seek help, and rebuild your mental health before moving on with life's challenges. I hope you have a good network of friends and family to support you.. they are the best medicine!

    Mike Welch

  2. As one who has admired Dan Choi's bravery and leadership from the day he appeared on Rachel Maddow's show, I hope Dan Choi gets the help he needs and gets well soon! He is truly one of my heroes!

    The situation he finds himself in is completely understandable; so many of us are going through enormous stress with the oppressive and inhumane DADT and DOMA laws bearing down on us, our friends, and our families.

    As for my own predicament, my de facto husband and I were abruptly forced thousands of miles apart due to the complete nonrecognition of gay binational families by the feds. We are all sick and tired of being treated like subhumans in twisted political games!!

    Dan Choi will have my full support should he want to continue the fight after he gets some rest and finds a way to cope with all the stress.

  3. Dear Lt. Choi:

    We have watched you during these trying times, and have been sincerely impressed with your grace and dignity in serving your country in the hardest fight of all... the one that renders you personally vulnerable.

    No amount of battle training could have adequately prepared you for the tightrope you have bravely walked, maintaining the delicate balance between loyalty to and respect for your beloved military, and your right to be a full human and live without oppressive discrimination.

    As each side retreats to respective black-and-white corners, it is you (and all gay service members) who are left with the full weight of the grayness of human life. While some perceive these parts of you, and believe they conflict and oppose each other, we salute you, sir, for showing us an individual who knows what he needs, and speaks out for it.

    We are praying for you, for all your fellows who are similarly suffering, and for the end to this oppressive policy.

    Kristen Annastasia & Joseph Melroy
    Northridge, California

  4. All my very best wishes to you, Dan. We will never meet but please know that I will be thinking of you and sending you the most positive of vibes.
    A very close friend of mine was on a closed ward for a short while after a break-down (they didn't know what else to do with her) and she took it as a beneficial break away from the stressors. It was a good thing at the time. Since then she has been incomparably better, quite a number of years now.
    Please take all the time you need to heal and recuperate, don't try to rush it. And get better soon, even if that sounds a bit paradoxical.
    I am sure that a great many people out there, gay and straight, wish you only the best.
    Please feel hugged, I will keep thinking of you
    Giselle, UK

  5. Hang in there and get well soon. Until then and as a US Navy Veteran I can say, "We got your back."
    Ted - Ocala, Florida

  6. Many thanks for your service, above and beyond; but, please, now, rest, recuperate, and take care of yourself. Best wishes for a good recovery, and thanks to the friends and healthcare providers who support our heroes. All the best, Dr. Daniel Fee, California