Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Turkish And Want To Get Out Of Mandatory Military Service? Tell 'Em You're Gay

In the Eastern European country of Turkey, military duty for men is compulsory; accept if you are gay. An article from BBC news details why gay folk get a reprieve but also the extent of personal info guys have to reveal and provide in order to satisfy the evidenced criteria. These guys are then given a Pink Certificate. Check out some of the excerpts of the story and download the podcast after the jump.

''They asked me if I had any photographs.'' Gokhan says, ''And I did.''
He had gone prepared with explicit photographs of himself having sex with another man, having heard that it would be impossible to get out of military service without them.
''The face must be visible,'' says Gokhan. ''And the photos must show you as the passive partner.''
The photographs satisfied the military doctors. Gokhan was handed his pink certificate and exempted from military service. But it was a terrible experience, he says,

''And it's still terrible. Because somebody holds those photographs. They can show them at my village, to my parents, my relatives.''
Gay men say the precise nature of the evidence demanded depends on the whim of the military doctor or commander. Sometimes, Instead of photographs, doctors rely on a "personality test".

"But when someone comes out and says he is gay, then the army needs to make sure that he is truly gay, and not simply lying to evade his mandatory duty to serve in the military.''

"Doctors are coming under immense pressure from their commanders to diagnose homosexuality, and they obey, even though there really are no diagnostic tools to determine sexual orientation,'' says one psychiatrist who formerly worked at a military hospital.
''It is medically impossible, and not at all ethical.

Read the rest of the article here and listen to the BBC radio documentary here. Its amazing that in 2012, there are still areas of the World that embrace primitive thinking. What's interesting though is that they benchmark their homosexuality diagnosis on a US paper written last century which describes being into other guys as a psychosis. Articles like this make me appreciate that I can live in country that gives me an life of sexual anonymity, where stereotypes play no part in the journey to becoming a high achiever.

Credit to Mr O for bringing this to my attention

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