Here's What We'll Say: A Memoir of Growing up, Coming Out and the U. S. Air Force

Overview

Reichen Lehmkuhl was playing the role of his life while in the Air Force. Not wanting to face a court martial for being gay, he had to live in a world where he had to watch everything he did and said for fear of being outed; and in another world where he was free to be himself. "One of the hardest things for me to reconcile was the fact that I was completely open with my family and friends but faced the very real possibility of being court martialed and going to jail if I was open with my 'work' colleagues." As ...

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Overview

Reichen Lehmkuhl was playing the role of his life while in the Air Force. Not wanting to face a court martial for being gay, he had to live in a world where he had to watch everything he did and said for fear of being outed; and in another world where he was free to be himself. "One of the hardest things for me to reconcile was the fact that I was completely open with my family and friends but faced the very real possibility of being court martialed and going to jail if I was open with my 'work' colleagues." As Reichen explains, "The don't ask don't tell policy is so contradictory to what the Air Force and all the armed forces stand for ... but they force you to lie in order to serve your country." It was the contradictions which led Reichen to leave the Air Force once he completed his commitment. Happenstance brought Reichen to meet a friend at a Los Angeles restaurant where he was approached by the casting director for "The Amazing Race." Reichen believes his military training was extremely helpful in his winning the show's million dollar prize.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786717828
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2006
  • Pages: 346
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Reichen Lehmkuhl is a graduate of the Air Force Academy, a captain in the Air Force, a successful entrepreneur, an international model, a flight instructor, winner of CBS’s "Amazing Race,” and a Gay Rights Advocate. Reichen hosts The Reichen Show on the Q Television Network. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2007

    I loved this book

    This book was great. It was seriously hard to put down. I would highly recomend it to anyone!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2007

    I was there too

    I could relate to everything he said. I just left the military, because of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I was killing me inside. I hate that I had to leave the military as I truly loved it. But I couldn't take it anymore.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2007

    I'm living this

    This book right now, is basically a mirror-image of my life. I serve in the military under this policy and it literally kills you to live a double life at certain points in your military career. You deal with it and are very careful of your 'other' life. I recommend everyone person that is this way in the military to read this. We can all relate to this book in a certain way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2007

    Most gay men can relate to his story.

    Reichen Lehmkuhl's story sounds so similar to my own coming of age story. I thought I was the only one who prayed to God at night whike I was sleeping to make me not be attracted to men anymore when I woke. It was comforting to read this in his book. Not only is Lehmkuhl's story familiar to mine, I am sure it is familair to many gay men out there. What makes his story more amazing is the fact that he was in the military. His story is easy to read and I shared his successes and his pains as he made it through the Air Force Academy. I felt like I was reading a story of a close friend ... I wish he was my friend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2006

    Highly Recommended!

    Reads like a novel. I am surprised that I discovered it by accident and that it wasn't widely publicized like former NJ Governor, Jim McGreevey's book. The writing is top-notch starting out with his early childhood and then focusing on his days at the US Air Force Academy. The brutal treatment the cadets get there in their first year is so descriptive that the reader feels as if he is going through it as well! You want to root for Mr. Lemhkuhl all the way! Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2006

    Mirror, mirror on the wall...

    With Lehmkuhl's unprecedented ongoing publicity, this could have been a major tool in the effort to expand civil rights for LGBT Americans. But as very few of its pages are specifically devoted to a discussion of the military's antigay policies, it could only have succeeded if it had added anything new to the fight that has been going on for decades. It does not. Even for those who might not have known gays are barred from serving, he offers not a single suggestion for what the reader might actually DO about it. Further, the book is shoddily edited. Entire words are missing from some sentences while ungrammatical sentences that one can only hope were the result of typos remain. E.g., '...I was always been eager to ski....' p286. Inexplicably, he places Matthew Shepard's murder six years before it actually happened, misdates the year and nature of Barney Frank's coming out, and seems to be totally unaware that the US Supreme Court overturned civilian sodomy laws in 2003. Such glaring errors make one suspicious of why the book was clearly rushed into print. More troubling is the fact that the author himself puts into doubt how much the reader can believe. '¿some of the events in the final chapter of this book that are portrayed as having happened to me actually happened to others. I integrated their stories into my own ...the details chronicled sometimes are not a literal account of events.' What happened to simply 'changing the names to protect the innocent'? Why was it necessary for Lehmkuhl to paint himself as a bigger 'martyr' than he was, in the same way the book's very first two sentences, on the inside of the dust jacket, are a distortion of the truth (emphasis mine): 'Reichen Lehmkuhl is perhaps best known...that won HIM the grand prize on CBS's Amazing Race. Since winning the million-dollar prize, Reichen has....' This is echoed in the 'From the Publisher' notes above, '...in HIS winning the show's million dollar prize.' As he finally acknowledges in the book's Afterword, he and his former partner, Chip Arndt, won Amazing Race TOGETHER, and, thus, would have split the prize between them. Further facts from the book rather than the buzz: he was never outed, never penalized, nor even suspected of being gay while at the Academy, and resigned voluntarily years after graduating, without mention of being gay, let alone any attempt to fight the ban from the credibility of someone still active duty as many others courageously have. Further, an objective reading reveals that he never endured anything more than the millions of other closeted gay men and women who have been in the military. He has generated a huge amount of lazy press about his 'antigay sexual assault'¿even though it involved nothing like what most imagine, and he admits to enjoying it and longingly fantasizing about it happening again. From the media orgy he's been the center of in relation to this book, one would think the gay messiah had descended. Instead, it proves that sometimes a pretty face IS just a pretty face.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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