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November 21, 2005

GE BB up in GA...again

Georgia Equality is putting up help wanted signs billboards again. Still arrogant, this latest one up on Victory Drive near Fort Benning, GA. But this time there is a error on the board. I'm pretty sure that in their haste with the in your face advertisement, the elitists at GE didnt realize error.
So I will point it out to them.

Andrew Nichols steadies himself for the camera in GE's latest stunt to offend the sensibilities of the patriotic citizens of Fort Benning and its civic twin Columbus (my former home). On the billboard Nichols (presumably) declares, "I fight for your freedom. And...I am gay." Well Andrew, that's not entirely true son. The statement is made in the present tense by GE so as to trick people imply that Nichols is active duty. He's not. According to their press release, Nichols is an "honorably discharged member of the United States Army who achieved the rank of Sergeant."
Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't that mean that you no longer fight? It can be said that you once fought, but the truth is you are not currently fighting anything except a great majority of people who do not want to have open homosexuals serving in the military.

I served 10 years active duty Army with combat service and I knew and worked with many homosexual men and women in uniform. I was once one myself. Georgia Equality didn't need to be deceitful and paint Nichols as something he's not. That's the unmitgated arrogance Im talking about. They put these billboards up in communities they deem "ignorant". How offensive to the decent Georgians in these towns.

Nichols or whoever wrote the text could just as easily have said "I fought for your freedom, And...I am gay". He has my respect, but no need to lie, Georgia Equality.


Brady said...

"That's the unmitgated arrogance Im talking about."

DL, I trust you have the same feelings for conservative groups that use the same type of deception in their speech, marketing, publication, etc.

DL Foster said...

Brady deception is deception. Here I point out gay/liberal deception. However, perception is not deception. I think they do the conservative/exgay stuff at exgaywatch. I guess it all comes out in the wash.

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

11 23 05


Andrew Nichols said...

Hello. Although you are correct, that I once fought for "your freedom," and now no longer do, I do not think that Georgia Equality was intentionally trying to mislead anyone here.

For you to post a blog saying that I or GE tried to trick or mislead viewers of the billboard is simply your way of diverging the attention of your audience from the greater message.

Their message was designed for a great purpose, beyond just allowing myself to come out as a current or previous gay soldier. The billboard was released on Veteran's Day in order to bring awareness to the military community that there are many gay and lesbian servicemembers.

On a personal level, I don't want to be known as a gay soldier, I want to be known as a soldier who is gay. All servicemembers know that when you are in the military you are a soldier (sailor, airman, etc) first, hence the mention of "An Army of One."

And I do hope that one day there will be no need for such billboards to go up anywhere in this country. However, we are not at that progressive point at this time and therefore I am happy that GE decided to run this "We Are Your Neighbors" campaign and extremely proud to have played a part in it.

DL Foster said...

Hello Andrew,
I'll assume that you are the Andrew Nichols on the billboard.
I say the wording was intentionally misleading because it is. GE didnt hire a gay PR firm to accidentally mess up their careful PR plot. And you didn't say that you had no hand in the wording, so I aim at GE.

Surely, to post the message as it was in a pro-military town sent the message that you ARE serving, when in reality you ARE not. There is a big difference and not just semantics. There was a greater message from GE: "Youre too dumb to know, so we'll stick it in your face."
Additionally Andrew, I say that the whole campaign is elitist and snobby because it makes a false assumption that people are too ignorant to know that there are gay people serving in the military.
That's no big secret. Neither is it a big secret that some of our neighbors are gay. Most of them that Ive seen have big rainbow flags plastered on their cars, so how could we miss it?

Like you, and like the many men and women I served with during my 10 years (5 of those at Fort Benning) of active duty, no one I knew of wanted to be known as a "gay soldier". Neither did I. I was a soldier and I happened to be gay.
You should know that the press by civilians (GE) to turn the military into a social experiment is not good for anyone.
Like I said, you got my respect, but GE didnt have to lie.