FEBRUARY 6: Serving in Silence (1995)


Twenty-two years ago, a TV movie aired on NBC. So far, nothing unusual. Except that this movie starred Glenn Close in the role of Margarethe Cammermeyer, a colonel in the US army who ended up retiring from the Washington National Guard under the US military’s gay exclusion policy. We’ll be covering her life and influence in more details later in the year, but in the meantime, if you’re feeling like watching a biopic that centers notably on wlw history and the US army, well, this might be for you! The movie is largely based on Cammermeyer’s autobiography of the same name, which was published in 1994.

Serving in Silence traces Cammermeyer’s efforts to resist the Army’s efforts to get rid of her once she reveals she’s a lesbian. In the end, it is all in vain: she is discharged. Her story nonetheless remains – a testimony of an era that perhaps isn’t so bygone, and undoubtedly an inspiration to other lesbians serving in the military.

Reviews were mixed it seems (read the one on Variety and the one on Entertainment Weekly), but regardless of how engaging the movie actually is, on a cinematographic level, it still is significant to have movies explicitly focusing on lesbian lives and prominent actresses choosing to take on this kind of roles: visibility and represetnation do matter, after all.

Watch the trailer here:

– AK