When Katy Perry sang “This is a part of me that you’re never gonna ever take away from me” standing beneath a parachuted American flag on an air force base, she was expressing solidarity with those who fall at the intersection of their queer identity and their war machine identity. The Vermont National Guard have recently announced that a pair of our own F35 jet planes are coming out. Their loud and proud flights over the Eastern Vermont area let us know that they are here, they are queer, and ready to fight whichever imaginary war their tremendous military budget calls for, should they ever actually be needed.
Since their arrival in 2019, our “Green Mountain Boys” have been met with quite a surprising unwelcome from such a ‘liberal’ state. Much of the focus has been on the noise they make, usually parading through the skies around noon, probably on their way to pick up a rainbow bagel from Burlington Bagel Bakery, or to top up their quinoa jar at the co-op. A local resident who wished to remain anonymous said “I know we have to live with them or whatever, I just wish they didn’t have to shove it in our face so much and be so loud about it.” This statement rings a worrying tune of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ which most would think this progressive state has long outgrown.
But speaking to one Marshall, a good friend of these fighter jet planes, revealed some of the more intimate details of their lives, amid their timid refusal to comment (most likely for fear of further unwarranted criticism).
“You know, they’re just like us. People complain about the noise, but what we’re witnessing is them chasing each other playfully through the skies – Lovers and fighters. They’re versatile. I think people are actually scared of how forward thinking that is.”
He explains the noise further “What they’re really doing is taking up airspace, making their own kind of sounds. I think they’re just trying out for a Charli XCX sample, or Troye Sivan at least.”
Further information reveals that there are others like them stationed at Burlington International Airport. There’s another pair, these ones lesbians and non-monogamous. There are yet to be any genderqueer F35 jets, but the Vermont National Guard has assured us that they are undergoing some serious diversity training with the Vermont Pride Center to encourage more gender nonconforming jet planes to come out and come up to Vermont.
We were able to catch a brief comment with one of the pilots of the gay jets on his way from the airport.
“I’m cool with it. I’m not gay though. But it’s cool. I’ve actually got a girl waiting for me at home now. Nah, I don’t touch the gears unless necessary. I guess I do get inside of him, but once I’m in, I’m the one in control. That’s not gay, right?”
[For clarification, one of the jets does identify as gay, but the other has labelled himself bisexual with a slight preference for men.]