My, how time flies, sir. It seems like only yesterday (it was in late November 1991, actually) that you were apologizing after being caught telling a so-called gay-bashing anti-lesbian joke to Jerry Brown. You remember, the one that was inadvertently picked up by a C-Span microphone. I thought that what was wrong with the joke was that it wasn’t all that funny, really. But, hey, that’s history. And, obviously, you’ve reformed. I know this because I saw you on the NBC Today show (January 28, 1993) fighting for the “right” of “gays” to serve legally in our military. In fact, I saw you saying, flatly: “We should not have a policy that discriminates and kicks people out because of their sexual orientation.”

Gays? Now, there’s a once-fine word that has been corrupted, has it not? Your average homosexual is anything but gay, anything but full of mirth and lightheartedness. These folks are full of rage and hate. They ought to be called “glums” or “grims”—anything but “gay.” But I wonder, senator: Do you really believe that people with any kind of sexual “orientation” ought legally to be in our Armed Forces? I ask you this, sir, because I’ve been reading a little bit in The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy (one of the standard and best-known medical texts), the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III), and the admittedly less well-known Encyclopedia of Aberrations: A Psychiatric Handbook, published by the Philosophical Library. After reviewing the—what shall I call it?—interesting smorgasbord of sexual “orientations” in these books, I think the case can be made that we should try to exclude more people from our military on the basis of their sexual “orientations.” I know. I know. You’re probably saying, “No way! That would be crazy, bigoted, intolerant,” all that. But hear me out, please.

For openers, the DSM-III, in a section titled “Psychosexual Disorders,” informs us that there are four groups of such disorders: “Gender Disability Disorders,” which are “characterized by a person’s feelings of discomfort and inappropriateness about his or her anatomic sex and by persistent behaviors generally associated with the other sex”; “Paraphilias,” which are “characterized by arousal in response to sexual objects or situations that are not part of normative arousal-activity patterns and that in varying degrees may interfere with the capacity for reciprocal affectionate sexual activity”; “Psychosexual Dysfunctions,” which are “characterized by inhibitions in sexual desire or the psychophysiological changes that characterize the sexual response cycle”; and “Other Psychosexual Disorders,” which come in two categories—”Ego-dystonic Homosexuality” and a residual category known as “Psychosexual Disorders Not Elsewhere Classified.”

So what exactly are we talking about here, senator? Well, for example, we have the “orientation” known as transsexualism—a “heterogeneous disorder” where a person, to put it mildly, doesn’t like what sex he/she is and “persistently wishes to be rid of one’s genitals and live as a member of the other sex.” This “discomfort,” we are told, frequently leads to cross-dressing, that is dressing in clothes of the opposite sex—a form of fashion Pat Buchanan alerted us to in his speech before the Republican Convention.

Now, I don’t want to appear closeminded here. Because it’s true that with hormonal treatment and electrolysis some male cross-dressers can be rendered indistinguishable from members of the opposite sex they are impersonating. And I never had the honor of being in the military. I didn’t even go to college. But it does seem to me that having a transsexual in our Armed Forces could be a problem.

Speaking just for myself, one redblooded American heterosexual married man with three grown children and three small grandsons, I know that if I was a young man in the military today, I would find it very disconcerting to be bunking and showering with a guy perpetually dissatisfied with his own genitals, a man who might, just might, take matters into his own hands and try to alter his plumbing. At the very least, I would find it potentially disruptive in my unit to see a transsexual, or several transsexuals, reporting for duty in dresses—particularly if one of these individuals was my commanding officer.

In addition, at future Tailhook conventions, and at similar get-togethers, it could be potentially traumatic to have male members of our Armed Forces sexually harassing individuals they honestly thought were women only to find out that these persons were men. Also, such transsexuals, undetected, under current affirmative action programs, might be unfairly promoted over men, even though they are, in fact, men.

Though I am not an expert, it would, again, appear that there might be problems in our Armed Forces with paraphiliacs—those who require unusual and bizarre imagery or acts for sexual excitement. These generally involve; one, use of a nonhuman object for sexual arousal; two, repetitive sexual activity with humans involving real or simulated suffering or humiliation; or three, repetitive sexual activity with nonconsenting partners. The specific paraphilias described in the DSM-III are: fetishism, transvestism, zoophilia, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, sexual masochism, and sexual sadism.

So what exactly are these sexual “orientations”? Well, I didn’t know either before I read these books. Fetishism is a preference for achieving sexual excitement by using things like articles of clothing (such as women’s underwear, shoes, and boots) and, more rarely, parts of the human body (such as hair or nails). Transvestism is recurrent and persistent cross-dressing in women’s clothes by males for sexual excitement— interference with which, we are told, results in “intense frustration.” The essential feature of zoophilia is the use of animals to achieve sexual excitement, usually an animal one had contact with as a child, “such as a household pet or farm animal.” Pedophilia is the act or fantasy of engaging in sexual activity with prepubertal children. Exhibitionism is repetitive exposure of the genitals to an unsuspecting stranger to achieve sexual excitement—the purpose being to surprise or shock. Voyeurism is repetitive looking at unsuspecting people, usually strangers, who are either naked, in the act of disrobing, or engaging in sexual activity, to, again, achieve sexual excitement. Sexual masochism is sexual excitement produced in an individual by his or her own suffering—such as being humiliated, bound, raped, self-mutilated, or beaten. And sexual sadism is the infliction of physical or psychological suffering (sometimes including death) on another person to achieve sexual excitement.

In addition, there is a category of sexual “orientations” known as “atypical paraphilia,” which include: coprophilia (feces); frotteurism (rubbing); klismaphilia (enema); mysophilia (filth); necrophilia (corpse); telephone seatologia (lewdness); and urophilia (urine). Now, again, at the risk of appearing to be some kind of “phobe,” senator, I would, nevertheless, respectfully urge you to consider whether having individuals with such sexual “orientations” in our military, legally and openly, might possibly create some problems.

Fetishists? There are now a lot of women in the military who wear underwear and boots, and who have nails and hair. The danger here is obvious. Transvestites? Ditto, another obvious danger made even more real by fetishists. Put a fetishist in a fox hole with a cross-dressing transvestite and—presto!—he could immediately be attracted to the underwear, boots, nails, and hair of his buddy, who he would naturally think is a woman. The nightmare scenario would, of course, be a cross-dressing, transvestite fetishist who would become obsessed with his own underwear, boots, nails, and hair. If this individual was a commanding officer, an entire unit could be paralyzed—with the result being a mission in serious trouble.

Zoophiliacs? More trouble. Your unit is pinned down in a rural area, temporarily occupying a farm. There are many animals on this farm, which some of the zoophiliacs among you had as childhood pets. Use your imagination, senator. It wouldn’t be pretty. Pedophiles? Big trouble. Your unit enters a town in, say, Somalia. As always, numerous young children mob your unit to greet the troops. The pedophiles among you start fantasizing or acting on their fantasies. Either way, as I say, big trouble. Screaming kids. Outraged parents. Uncle Sam’s good name is besmirched around the world.

Exhibitionists? Your unit is in a town to, among other things, create some good will among the local populace without which you cannot successfully conduct your operation. Suddenly, an out-of-the-closet, now-legally-in-the-military exhibitionist is mooning a group of local citizens, or worse. This would not be good. Voyeurs? Many military bases have on-base housing for married couples. With voyeurism now legal, there would be an epidemic of peeping tomism, without a doubt. The “right to privacy” would be abolished. The Constitution would be a dead letter. Sexual masochists? Sexual sadists? Allow them legally to be in our Armed Forces, and out of the closet, and the barracks will look like your typical leather bar or bath house in San Francisco on a busy weekend. Coprophiliacs? A visit to your average military rest room would be unbelievably disgusting and very unhealthy. Frotteurists? Men and women “rubbing” one another for sexual thrills? No way. Chaos. Klismaphiliaes? Enemas that sexually excite? The infirmary would be a most dangerous place to visit. Mysophiliacs? Filth for sexual gratification? Filthy, indeed! Necrophiliacs? Sex with dead people? The battlefield would be exceptionally nauseating. Telephone scatologics? Increasing numbers of personnel would refuse to answer their telephones, both in the office and in the field. Communications would be totally disrupted. Urophiliacs? Out of the question.

And there are, alas, many, many more such sexual “orientations,” senator. Lots more, sir—such questionable practices as: “nymphomania,” women who choose to have sex with many partners; “contrectation,” the impulse to touch members of the opposite sex indiscriminately (some senators seem to suffer from this “orientation”); “pyromania,” the setting of fires for sexual kicks; “zoosadism,” cruelty to animals for sexual satisfaction; “nympholepsy,” a trance-like state induced by erotic daydreams; and, last and certainly least, “osphresiophilia,” where certain odors sexually excite the sniffer. But I know you’re a busy man, so I won’t go into detail about the potential hazards of allowing such alternative sexual lifestyle “orientations,” legally and openly, in our military.

In conclusion, senator, I would urge you to please reconsider your view concerning our military that “we should not have a policy that discriminates and kicks people out because of their sexual orientation.” If, however, you continue to stand by your Today show statement, and see nothing wrong with the aforementioned “orientations,” believing that such individuals can serve in our Armed Forces with no degradation of the efficiency of these forces, then I would say, sir—as a layman—that you would appear to be performing what the Encyclopedia of Aberrations calls a “schizoid maneuver,” which is defined as: “The mental distortion of an unpalatable reality, external or internal, into something more acceptable to the individual.”