Piece image

StoryCorps: Denny Meyer

From: StoryCorps
Series: StoryCorps
Length: 01:45

Embed_button
U.S. Navy veteran Denny Meyer remembers what it was like to be gay and a sailor in the late 1960s. Read the full description.

Meyer_lg_small

When Denny Meyer enlisted in the Navy in 1968, he had to hide the fact that he was gay.

At the time, homosexuality wasn’t tolerated in the Navy and anyone found to be gay would be discharged from service.

At StoryCorps, Meyer recalled what it was like to be gay and a sailor in those days.

Also in the StoryCorps series

Piece image

StoryCorps: Patty Woods (02:25)
From: StoryCorps

Patty Woods remembers her partner, who left a lasting impact on her life.
Piece image

StoryCorps: Dekalb Walcott Jr. and Dekalb Walcott III (02:04)
From: StoryCorps

Dekalb Walcott III talks to his dad, retired Chicago Fire Chief Dekalb Walcott Jr., about...
Piece image

StoryCorps: Patrick Haggerty and Robin Bolland (02:49)
From: StoryCorps

70-year-old Patrick Haggerty tells his daughter, Robin, about the day he first had a conversation with his father about being gay.
Piece image

StoryCorps: Thompson Williams and Kiamichi-tet Williams (02:09)
From: StoryCorps

Thompson Williams talks about his father's legacy with his son, Kiamichi-tet Williams.
Piece image

StoryCorps: J.T. Johnson and Al Lingo (02:04)
From: StoryCorps

J.T. Johnson and Al Lingo remember having acid thrown on them after jumping into a whites-only swimming pool in St. Augustine, Florida in June of 1964.
Piece image

StoryCorps: Cheri Lindsay and Phillip Lindsay (02:22)
From: StoryCorps

Cheri Lindsay talks with her father, Phillip, about vitiligo, a rare skin condition they share...
Piece image

StoryCorps SCU: Aaron and Celeste-Davis Carr (02:41)
From: StoryCorps

Aaron tells his teacher, Celeste-Davis Carr, about revealing his homelessness during a StoryCorpsU recording.
Piece image

StoryCorps: Dean Smith (01:51)
From: StoryCorps

Dean Smith, who spent 40 years as a stunt double for Hollywood Westerns, talks with his wife, Debby, and son, Finis.
Caption: Jeff Lasater (L) and Drew Cartwright

StoryCorps: Jeff Lasater and Drew Cartright (02:29)
From: StoryCorps

Jeff Lasater tells his friend Drew Cartwright about his son Jeremiah who, after being bullied at school, committed suicide at 14 years old.
Piece image

StoryCorps: Debra and Lionel D'Luna and Adrienne D'Luna Directo (02:37)
From: StoryCorps

Adrienne D'Luna Directo interviews her parents, Debra and Lionel D'Luna, about her sister Alexis who died from complications of CHARGE syndrome in 2012.

Piece Description

When Denny Meyer enlisted in the Navy in 1968, he had to hide the fact that he was gay.

At the time, homosexuality wasn’t tolerated in the Navy and anyone found to be gay would be discharged from service.

At StoryCorps, Meyer recalled what it was like to be gay and a sailor in those days.

Broadcast History

NPR's Morning Edition June 22, 2012

Transcript

In those days, we served in silence. And, not one day passed when you didn’t worry that you were gonna to be found out.

When men are at sea they horse around. And so, they wrestle on the floor with thirty guys shouting. But, when anybody wanted to do that with me, I would grab their neck and bounce their head against the bulkheads “I don’t go for that,” you know. And so unintentionally, I got a reputation as the straightest guy around. [Laughs] You know, “Meyer won’t do that even for a joke, you know. “

And there was a witch hunt for homosexuals which happened periodically, and the offices called me in. And they said, “Meyer, you’re the only one we can be sure of.” [Laughs] Will you help us find these people?” And I said, “I don’t know nothing about that.” So you lead a lonely life, you know? You’re an island, all by your self.

Sometime later, I was at Fleet Headquarters and two men i...
Read the full transcript

Intro and Outro

INTRO:

This weekend, gay pride celebrations will mark the first year since the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," the law that banned gays from serving openly in the U.S. military.

Denny Meyer, 65, is a veteran who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. During a recent visit to StoryCorps, he remembered what it was like to be both gay and a sailor in the late 1960s.

OUTRO:

Meyer now serves as a vice president for American Veterans for Equal Rights, a nonprofit "association of active, reserve and veteran service members dedicated to full and equal rights and equitable treatment for all present and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces," according to its website.

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
11 Years Fredrik Na Na Ni . Kora Records 2008 :16

Additional Credits

Capella University

Related Website

www.storycorps.org