The Navy Gave a Gay Man a Home—And a ‘Bad Paper’ Discharge That Haunted Him for Decades

A Vietnam War Veteran Reflects on 50 Years of Fighting for People Like Himself and The Group He Loved

I was 17 when I joined the Navy in 1965. My family was poor, and I was failing out of high school. Four years in the Navy felt like my only option.

I’d hoped to avoid ground combat by enlisting in the Navy, but within nine months of joining, I found myself in Vietnam.

During those long 13 months at war, the one good thing was the circle of friends I made, first as a hospital corpsman in an aid station in the jungle, and then onboard the hospital ship Repose.

The first …

Can a Rainbow Flag Change My Small Town?

The Opening of a Community Center for People Like Me Made Merced Feel Like Home Again

Growing up in Merced, I did not feel that the town was accepting of gay people, or of me in particular. People around my public high school would carelessly throw …

Go Ahead: Keep Your Marriage Secret

In California, Confidential Marriage Is a Proud 135-Year-Old Tradition, and the Supreme Court’s Prop 8 Ruling Might Give It New Relevance

Pssst. Wanna know a secret?

I’m going to let you in on confidential marriage, an only-in-California concoction that is little known but deeply relevant to today’s debates about marriage.

Confidential marriage is …