Monday, December 6, 2010

Jo Ann Santangelo's Proud to Serve

Every day on the news there is some new development in the ongoing battle to repeal Section 654, Title 10, U.S.C., the law which gave us the military's policy commonly known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The debates, the trials, the hearings, the surveys, the reports, the demonstrations, and the statistics continually mount up. What seems to get lost in all of the mountains of facts are the very human stories of the people most profoundly affected by this policy, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered service members.

Photojournalist Jo Ann Santangelo set out to correct this. She has revealed the face of this issue by traversing the nation and putting together a collection of photographs of these service members coupled with the stories they have to tell of how this policy negatively impacted on their lives at a time when they had dedicated themselves to our country's service.

Her show, Proud to Serve, opened in New York City at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center on Veterans' Day, November 11, where it generated a lot of excitement in the community. She was kind enough to take the time to walk through the exhibit with me to share some of the details of these courageous individuals' lives.

The photographs in Proud to Serve have been published as an 10" X 8"  full-color, soft cover book.  It is available directly from Jo Ann's website. The first 100 copies of the book will be signed by Jo Ann.


  1. I am disappointed; there were no Women of Color photos/stories discussed in the video. This continues to deny Women of Color, the largest percentage impacted by DADT, and the largest population that faces sexism, racism, and homophoibia deeply embedded in the military culture. This video continues the myth that this a primarly a male issue. This video is not a true representation of the population of lgbt people impacted by this obscene law.

  2. Unfortunately, the technical limitations of the equipment with which I work sometimes forces me to make cuts I would not otherwise choose to make. An extensive conversation about the very fact to which you refer had to be cut because of banging noises from an adjacent room which made the audio useless. But if you want to see a video I have posted that does include several women of color, and specifically references the fact that women of color are disproportionally affected by DADT, please watch "Don't Ask, Don't Tell US to Wait," available by pressing the appropriate video archive button in the right hand column on this page.