Bateman, Geoffrey (Wayne) 1974–
Bateman, Geoffrey (Wayne) 1974–
PERSONAL: Born 1974; children: two. Education: Graduate study at University of Colorado at Boulder.
ADDRESSES: Home—Denver, CO. Office—Department of English, University of Colorado at Boulder, 226 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1800 30th St., Ste. 314, Boulder, CO 80301. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Scholar, editor, and activist. Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military, University of California, Santa Barbara, assistant director.
(Editor with Aaron Belkin) Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Debating the Gay Ban in the Military, Lynne Rienner Publishers (Boulder, CO), 2003.
Contributor to periodicals, including Rocky Mountain News; contributor to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Encyclopedia online.
SIDELIGHTS: Geoffrey Bateman balances a career as writer, teacher, student, and activist. While pursuing his doctorate at the University of Colorado at Boulder, he taught literature classes while also serving as assistant director of the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military (CSSMM) at the University of California at Santa Barbara. In 2003, he joined CSSMM colleague Aaron Belkin in co-editing the anthology Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Debating the Gay Ban in the Military. The book grew from a 2000 conference sponsored by the CSSMM, and was published on the tenth anniversary of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, a government dictate advising gay military personnel to avoid revealing their sexual orientation.
Don't Ask, Don't Tell begins with an overview of the major arguments for and against allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the U.S. military, and then provides an historical look at the military's stance on this issue. Subsequent chapters consist of edited transcripts from the conference addressing specific concerns such as preserving soldier privacy, preserving unit cohesion, and the monetary cost to the military and the nation to uphold the ban. In one chapter, two former service members relate their experiences as gay members of the military, and discuss how the existing policies affected them. In the appendix, the editors provide the full text of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
While Bateman and Belkin approached proponents of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy to attend the conference, none were willing to participate, and therefore the majority of the book's voices are in favor of lifting the said policy. Most reviewers did not see this as a problem with the book, but cited it as something to note. "For readers on both sides of the issue, the book furthers our understanding and offers useful, diverse, and divergent facts, findings, and arguments," noted Women's Review of Books contributor Lynne Gouliquer.
Critics, in general, reacted positively to Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Some highlighted the transcript format as a vehicle for lively discussion. The subject matter was described as "pertinent, interesting, and grounded in personal experience and relevant research" by Juanita Firestone in her review for the Journal of Political and Military Sociology. Other reviewers lauded Bateman and Belkin's ability to meld many voices and discussion points into a clear and compelling book. In his review for Contemporary Sociology, contributor Chris Bourg concluded that "The editors combine discus-sions of research, policy perspectives and opinions, and personal narratives into a coherent and timely contribution to the literature on this important topic."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Sociology, July, 2004, Chris Bourg, review of Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Debating the Gay Ban in the Military, p. 429.
Journal of Political and Military Sociology, summer, 2003, Juanita M. Firestone, review of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, p. 149.
Library Journal, June 1, 2003, David Azzolina, review of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, p. 150.
Women's Review of Books, May, 2004, Lynne Gouliquer, "Ask and Tell," p. 22.
Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military Web site, http://www.gaymilitary.ucsb.edu/ (December 13, 2004), "Geoffrey Bateman."
Lynne Rienner Publishers Web site, http://www.rienner.com/ (December 13, 2004).