Jeff Sheng's striking images of closeted soldiers humanize the debate over DADT

books of Jeff's work along with more images are available @ jeffsheng.com

Ellis is a Marine whose duties include managing aircraft. A gallery show of 20 of Jeff Sheng's portraits of gay military personnel is at Kaycee Olsen Gallery in Los Angeles.  more . . .

Tristan and Zeke are gay members of the Marines who have come out only to a small number of their fellow service members because of the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Photographer Jeff Sheng has spent almost two years crossing the country to shoot portraits of gay and lesbian military members.Xavier has been in the U.S. Navy for two years. Even though he is out to only one other sailor at work, he says his experience in the military has been rewarding. "It was the right decision for me," he says.Each subject volunteered to be photographed by Jeff Sheng and also decided how much of their identities they would show. It was neck down for Jordan."I would like to be open about who I am," says Alana, a member of the Navy who was most recently stationed on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. "It's the little freedoms that you wish you had."When asked about her personal life while at work, Ellis says she changes the subject. "I'm not willing to lie about it," she says.

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