Don't ask don't tell repealed: Gayness in military films will never be the same

Categories: Film, Lists

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Don't get us wrong: We're celebrating the repeal of the long-lasting, draconian ban on homosexuality in the military; the end of Don't Ask Don't Tell, the military's only slightly less brazenly discriminatory concession to the ban, now awaits only President Obama's signature before it's official. Still, the ban and its subsequent DADT policy made for some compelling stories of pariahs, determination, back-handed dealings and, of course, the steamy appeal of forbidden fruit. And so, as we move into the future, here's a look back at some memorable cinematic moments involving military gayness.

5. G.I. Jane lesbian subplot
G.I. Jane, made back in 1997, was really more about women getting on equal footing in the military than it was about gays -- it does, however, involve a subplot in which Demi Moore's Jordan O'Neil is accused of "fraternizing with women" in a ploy to set her up for failure. O'Neil is cleared of the allegations, but there's no real indication she's not, either -- and besides, she's got a shaved head, amiright?

4. M*A*S*H*'s Corporal Klinger
In an ongoing gag that was probably inspired by Joseph Heller's Catch 22, Jamie Farr's Corporal Klinger cross-dresses in an attempt to get discharged for homosexuality. Supposedly, Klinger's not actually gay and is just doing it to get out of combat -- but we ask you: Is that last line just a bad pun, or is it in fact an example of the ultra-rare triple-entendre?

3. Various Army Hot Boy subplots
In this riveting story of comradery, temptation and redemption, two soldiers break all the rules when the commanding officer asks and the grunt tells. What follows, though, is a tender love affair that's as touching as it is sexy.

2. Big Gay Al's "I'm Super" scene in South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut
On a serious note, there isn't a whole lot that can measure up to the South Park parody engine in terms of sheer brilliance, and Big Gay Al's flamboyant sendup of stereotypically fey homosexuality is no exception -- the irony of setting this at a USO show just makes it even better. Today, Big Gay Al could be in that crowd.

1. Top Gun: "Playin' with the Boys"
While the movie cleverly features a romantic subplot between Tom Cruise and his female flight instructor to distract the censors, no scene makes it clearer that Top Gun is really about uber-masculine, Sparta-style, military man-on-man lust. The ban on homosexuality prevents them from saying it, sure, but ultimately, that prohibition just adds to the sweet ache of a sexual tension between Maverick and Ice Man so thick and sweaty and covered in... sorry, what were we talking about?

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