Hello y’all! Please welcome L.A. Witt on From Top to Bottom Reviews today to celebrate the release of her latest novel Going Overboard! Don’t miss her guest post about Queerness and the Military, and make sure you check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post!
Second-class petty officers Dalton Taylor and Chris Ingram have been best friends since coxswain’s school. Now they’re stationed together in the Harbor Patrol Unit of NAS Adams. They’re content as friends, but secretly, they both ache for more. Neither makes a move, though; while Dalton is out and proud, Chris is closeted—even from his best friend.
Then another coxswain’s negligence nearly drowns Dalton. After a taste of how easily they could lose each other, neither man can keep his feelings hidden anymore, and it turns out love and sex come easy when you’re falling for your best friend.
Things aren’t just heating up between the friends-turned-lovers, though. The Navy is investigating the accident, and the Harbor Patrol chief isn’t going to let his star coxswain go down for dereliction of duty, even if saving him means throwing Dalton under the bus.
As the threats and gaslighting pile up, Chris and Dalton need each other more than ever—as shipmates, friends, and lovers. But if their chief prevails, the only way they can save their careers is to let each other go.
Queerness and the Military
I’ve been more or less around the military my entire life, and I’ve been a military spouse since 2002. In the last 15 years, I’ve lived on or around five bases in three U.S. states, plus Okinawa and Spain, and my husband has been attached to two different ships. So, you could say I’ve seen a lot during that time… including the shift toward accepting queer people.
When DADT was repealed in 2010, I saw a lot of cheering for it, and a lot of backlash. From where I was standing, most of the backlash seemed to come from those who’d been in the military for 15-20 years. The younger crowd, however, had grown up in a generation that didn’t see why being queer should be an issue, so if anything, they seemed puzzled that there was any controversy at all… and they were absolutely aware of who in their chains of command had issues with it, and largely distrusted them after that.
That was coming on eight years ago. It’s customary to retire from the military after 20 years (though some certainly stay longer, the 20-year mark is the usual goal), so it should come as no surprise that many of those who were in the 15-20 year bracket are gone now. The younger crowd is now moving up into the higher ranks.
Which means that most of the senior enlisted personnel came of age in the post-DADT era, and the junior enlisted never dealt with it at all. That’s a pretty significant shift in the military in general, and within its leadership.
So as you can imagine, the military’s climate with regard to queerness has changed a lot in not a lot of time. I personally know several openly queer service members, and when someone does have an issue with another person being queer, it’s usually been the homophobe who gets the backlash. (Obviously this isn’t universal, but it’s mostly been the reality with the service members I know personally.)
I will say this—the military does inadvertently push a lot of queer people toward heteronormativity by making marriage more appealing. Of course it’s great that queer people can get married now, and that the military recognizes their marriages, but just like it does with straight people, the military makes marriage almost non-negotiable. Couples who might not consider marriage under other circumstances get married because the military life means moving around a lot, and marriage is the only way to make sure you move with your partner. It also makes you your partner’s next of kin, gives you access to them in the event of an emergency (i.e., if they’re medically evacuated to a military hospital from a combat zone), and makes you eligible for benefits like housing and health insurance. This is why a lot of service members marry young and often after relatively short periods of dating (my husband and I were 21 and 22 and had dated for less than a year; plenty of service members are married with kids before the end of their first 4-year enlistment).
Is that necessarily a good thing or a bad thing? I don’t know. I really don’t. I do know that a lot of straight couples get married younger than they probably should, and the results are… not always good. How does it affect queer couples who marry for practical reasons but would really rather not marry? I couldn’t tell you. It’s just something I’ve thought about.
In general, queerness and the military aren’t as incompatible as they once were on paper. Service members can be open about who they are and who they love, and hopefully that will soon fully extend to trans people without more attempts to ban them from serving. In another ten years, our military leadership will probably be wondering why it was ever an issue at all.
About Anchor Point
Welcome to Anchor Point!
Nestled on the northern coast of Oregon, this small town is home to Naval Air Station Adams. On base, you’ll find freshly minted Sailors who’ve just graduated boot camp, salty officers counting down till retirement, grounded pilots who’ve landed behind desks, and everyone in between—and they’re all looking for love. Well, not all of them, but that won’t stop love from finding them.
So pull up a barstool, grab a beer, and get ready for some sea stories as these men in uniform—or not—navigate the waters of love and life in the military.
Anchor Point stories can be enjoyed in any order. Hop in wherever you’d like!
Other books in the series:
L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…
To celebrate the release of Going Overboard, one lucky winner will receive their choice of two eBooks off L. A. Witt’s backlist (excluding Going Overboard) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 10, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
Blog Tour Genre: Contemporary Orientation: Gay Pairing: M/M Publisher: Riptide Publishing Tag: Friends to Lovers Tag: Guest Post Tag: Illness / Injury Tag: Military / Uniform Tag: Part of a series Anchor Point Going Overboard L.A. Witt