alyosius replied to your post “I did it guys I wrote real actual fic and not, like, a headcanon I…”
Increasingly high pitched whining sound
*appreciative flailing at that response*
[I’ve been sitting on this post for about three weeks, trying to decide if I wanted to make it or not. I’ve finally decided it’s time to put it out there, so.]
This essay was originally going to be added to this post [link to be added once it’s posted] about Steve’s dog-tags, but I apparently have a lot of feelings about this and it ended up being ridiculously long and sort of tangential to the original post, so I’m simply linking the two. I’ve divided the essay into three parts: church history, immigration history, and speculation.
Disclaimer: I was raised Protestant (in a non-denominational Stone-Campbell church), and I attended undergrad at a Protestant Christian liberal arts college (also Stone-Campbell). My undergraduate degree included church history, but I am definitely not an expert, so I’ve included lots of Wikipedia links to compensate. I am currently attending a Catholic university for my masters, but again, the focus has not been church history (although I have interviewed and transcribed interviews with Catholic priests from the Brooklyn Diocese as part of my classes). I know enough about church history to feel comfortable making this post, but not enough to go into further detail than what is laid out here. If I have made any egregious errors in regards to either branch’s history, please drop me a note so I can correct them.
Sergeant Phelps worked for General Eisenhower. Four decades after Eisenhower had defeated the Axis powers, Phelps recalled an extraordinary event. One day, the general told her, “I’m giving you an order to ferret those lesbians out. We’re going to get rid of them.”
“I looked at him and then I looked at his secretary who was standing next to me, and I said, ‘Well, sir, if the general pleases, sir, I’ll be happy to do this investigation for you. But you have to know that the first name on the list will be mine.’ “
“And he was kind of taken aback a bit. And then this women standing next to me said, ‘Sir, if the General pleases, you must be aware that Sergeant Phelp’s name may be second, but mine will be first.”
“Then I looked at him, and said, ‘Sir, you’re right. They’re lesbians in the WAC battalion. And if the general is prepared to replace all the file clerks, all the section commanders, all the drivers-every woman in the WAC detachment-and there were about nine hundred and eighty something of us-then I’ll be happy to make that list. But I think the general should be aware that among those women are the most highly decorated women in the war. There have been no cases of illegal pregnancy. There have been no cases of AWOL. There have been no cases of misconduct. And as a matter of fact, every six months since we’ve been here, the general has awarded us a commendation for meritorious conduct.”
“And he said, ‘Forget the order.’”"
The Gay Metropolis, page 47, Charles Kaiser (via bibliothekara)
Phelps tells this story herself in the excellent 1984 documentary Before Stonewall, which you can watch in its entirety on YouTube (she’s at 19:30, but really, watch the whole thing): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX7AxQd82H8