When “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the official U.S. policy on gays serving in the military, was repealed in September 2011, soldier Stephen Snyder-Hill (then Captain Hill) was serving in Iraq. Having endured years of this policy, which passively encouraged a culture of fear and secrecy for gay soldiers, Snyder-Hill submitted a video to a Republican primary debate held two days after the repeal. In the video he asked for the Republicans’ thoughts regarding the repeal and their plans, if any, to extend spousal benefits to legally married gay and lesbian soldiers. His video was booed by the audience on national television.
Soldier of Change captures not only the media frenzy that followed that moment, placing Snyder-Hill at the forefront of this modern civil rights movement, but also his twenty-year journey as a gay man in the army: from self-loathing to self-acceptance to the most important battle of his life—protecting the disenfranchised. Since that time, Snyder-Hill has traveled the country with his husband, giving interviews on major news networks and speaking at universities, community centers, and pride parades, a champion of LGBT equality.
STEPHEN SNYDER-HILL joined the military in 1988 and served nearly three years on active duty in Germany and fought in the first Gulf War in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Kuwait before his honorable discharge in 1996. He reenlisted in 2001 and was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn in 2010. Throughout his military career Snyder-Hill received numerous awards and decorations, including the Meritorious Service Medal. GEORGE TAKEI is an actor, social justice activist, and author of Oh Myyy! There Goes the Internet. He is best known for his portrayal of Sulu in the Star Trek television series and movies.
“Stephen Snyder-Hill has written a compelling account of his experience as a closeted gay soldier in the era of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ It is at once a heart-wrenchingly intimate look at the corrosive consequences of being forced to live a double life, a love story, and a profile in hard-won courage. The book chronicles his journey from fear and secrecy to an unforgettable moment on the national stage—and beyond.”—Christopher Goffard, author and staff writer for the Los Angeles Times
1. A Leap of Faith
2. Don’t Say Gay
3. Boot Camp and Bible Study
4. Lost and Found in Iraq
5. Pink Triangles
6. Just Be You
7. Back in the Saddle, Back in the Closet
8. This Looks Like a Gay Dude’s House
9. Jessica Josh
10. Cemetery Ceremony and Insensitive Sensitivity
11. The Debate
12. The Fallout
13. The Lawsuit
14. Prepping for the Public Eye
15. Did Rosa Parks Have a Roommate?
16. The Right to Hyphenate
17. Presidential Momentum
18. One Year of Freedom
19. All Aboard the c-bus of Love
20. Chariots and Superheroes
21. Activism vs. Politics
22. Trust the Power of Your Voice