Back to Top

Tell It Like It Is

This image is from Celebrate People’s History/Iraq Veterans Against the War: Ten Years of Fighting for Peace and Justice, a portfolio that celebrated IVAW’s first ten years and was produced by Justseeds, IVAW, Booklyn, Repetitive Press, and the Civilian Soldier Alliance.

(IVAW is now known as About Face: Veterans Against the War)


A silhouette of a military decorated person holding a trumpet. Above them, words in cursive state, “Tell it like it is.” Below, in small text it says, “Jeff Key was a reservist who did not plan to tell anyone he was gay, but ‘once you’re in a fighting hole with someone who’s sharing the deep contents of their soul and willing to take a bullet for you and you for them, to manufacture some bogus life is ridiculous and I would not spit in their face by doing so.’ He adds, ‘All my buddies were straight. They stood by me in war, they knew who I was, they stood by me in my wedding, and they put themselves at risk to speak out for queer serving.’ When he came back, he says, ‘I knew I could not be a party to this occupation, so I went on CNN and came out of the closet, and made them throw me out.’ He believes the war machine is sustained by homophobia and the belief that real men have no feelings of compassion while women are emotional and weak. ‘Good men will do horrible things to prove that they are not gay,’ he says.” 

Posts by Jesse Purcell