Federal law restricts openly gay men and women from serving in the Army; in effect, that means that gay men and women who join the military are required to hide their sexuality. And yet photographer Jeff Sheng has had no problem getting them to talk. In fact, his latest photo project, Don't Ask, Don't Tell , came about somewhat organically, after several gay military personnel had contacted him. Although Sheng does not reveal his subjects' identities, his portraits still reveal their struggle. He has taken about 60 portraits in 25 states, and the project has garnered a fair bit of attention. Sheng elaborates in an exhibition news release that the theme of invisibility is a broader one that applies to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:.
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On a warm fall day nearly two years ago, Dwayne D. He was waiting for the arrival of Jonathan Franqui, the man he had met nearly a month before and with whom he found an instant connection. It was their first real date - after over a week of talking on the phone and texting about their lives, learning about each other's families and friends and life aspirations, they were finally meeting up in person. When Jonathan arrived at the park, Dwayne stood up from his seat on the fountain and, without a word, pulled two coins from his pocket.
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To much of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT community, the " Don't Ask, Don't Tell " policy is but a distant memory nearly two years after its controversial repeal. But a New York art exhibit is taking a look back at the days when gay military members had to stay closeted when it came to their personal lives. The exhibit features images of "love and lust with, and among, soldiers, sailors and others with weapons and uniforms," according to museum officials, and includes some erotically-charged pieces by Michael Sennet, Thom Adams, Yznaga Regan and others. One of the exhibition's curators described the show not only as "timely and significant," particularly in the wake of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal, but also representative of the long-standing fascination many gay men have with military officers.