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Retired captain focuses documentary lens on gay and lesbian ...

One captain in the Marine Corps had to sign the confining orders to send a lesbian to jail, but was so disturbed that the next day the officer, who was also gay, submitted his resignation papers. Another man, from the Naval Academy Class of 1958, was kicked out of the military because his name was found in the address book of a "known homosexual." Other gay men and lesbians left the service because like Steve Clark Hall, a nuclear submarine captain who retired after a 20-year Navy career, they could no longer bear the burden of harboring an enormous secret about their identity. "I was tired of being single and not being able to live life the way I wanted to," said Hall, 54, who has begun gathering these stories for Out of Annapolis, the documentary film he is making about gay and lesbian alumni of the Naval Academy.

Like many of his fellow academy graduates, Hall is devoted to the institution he says deeply shaped him morally and intellectually: He is part of the "President's Circle" of donors, which requires a minimum annual gift of $2,500 to the academy's foundation. He talks in glowing terms about his time in Annapolis, the lightweight crew team, the friendships he made and the mentors who guided him. He rarely takes off his class ring.

This clean-cut Navy booster who still has trouble putting his hands in his pockets - something Mids were not supposed to do - might not seem like an obvious candidate to undertake a project sure to thrill some and outrage others. But though he insists that making waves goes against his relatively conservative nature, he is pouring his time and a good chunk of his money into documenting what he sees as an important, and all too often invisible, part of military history.

"When I was a midshipman, there were no gay or lesbian role models," he said. "All we ever heard was when someone was kicked out." See Retired captain focuses documentary lens on gay and lesbian ...
Baltimore Sun, United States

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