Army Lieutenant Dan Choi, perhaps the most prominent face pioneering the effort to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on openly gay soldiers, has reportedly been hospitalized following a bout of exhaustion.
Choi wrote to Pam's House Blend blog:
I did not initially want to publicize this but I now realize it is critical for our community to know several things: veterans gay or straight carry human burdens, Activists share similar burdens, no activist should be portrayed as super human, and the failures of government and national lobbying carry consequences far beyond the careers and reputations of corporate leaders, elected officials, High powered lobbyists, or political elites. They ruin lives. My breakdown was a result of a cumulative array of stressors but there is no doubt that the composite betrayals felt on Thursday, by elected leaders and gay organizations as well as many who have exploited my name for their marketing purposes have added to the result. I am certain my experience is not an isolated incident within the gay veteran community.
At the same time, those who have been closest to me know that I truly appreciate their gracious help and mentorship. I am indebted to their hospitality and leadership.
If you could share the info and sentiment I'd be most grateful.
Derek Washington of the Stonewall Democratic Club of Southern Nevada told Village Voice that last week's failed Senate vote to overturn "don't ask don't tell" was a significant factor in Choi's hospitalization, which marked a withdrawal from his often unrestrained public presence.
"He is currently resting and receiving the help of professionals who understand what Dan is going through much better than any of us could," Washington wrote. "It's easy to forget that Dan was a combat veteran because he always puts on a brave front for the cause, but Dan is also a human who has seen much worse than most of us in his lifetime."
The House has planned a subsequent vote this week on the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has threatened to keep the upper chamber in session through the holiday recess in order to make sure that a vote on that measure takes place.