Brendan Tapley has written one of the stranger defenses of DADT:
As recently as 100 years ago, men talked about their love for each other freely. In fact, the desire for intimate fraternity was considered more than just normal for a male life; it was believed to be essential. Men acted on this desire without fearing prejudice or ridicule. Here's a fairly common example from the 1830s, taken from the journal of Albert Dodd, a Yale student, about his friend John:
"I regard him, I esteem, I love him more than all the rest… it is not friendship merely which I feel for him, or it is friendship of the strongest kind. It is heart-felt, a manly, a pure, deep, and fervent love."
As open homosexuality emerged, however, it became masculinity's foil, its antithesis. Men grew skittish about wanting to express sentiments like Dodd's or participate in environments where fraternization was now equated with gayness. And so men stopped acting on their fraternal impulses, in spite of the fact that they did not go away. In fact, quite the opposite happened: The fear of being gay, effeminate, the anti-maletake your pickhas created a more intense, if repressed, longing in men to find and experience those rare environments where men can be close to other men without "forfeiting" their masculinity.
Tapley later claims that repealing DADT "threatens this [sort of brotherhood] because in bringing even a hint of homosexuality into this community, a man must once more lead that paranoid, self-conscious existence."
I sympathize with Tapley's general point, but think he's gotten things exactly the wrong way round. Yes, when categories such as homosexuality and heterosexuality did not exist, a kind of exuberant, manly affection was more possible - and benefited everyone. But just because those categories did not exist in the public consciousness doesn't mean that homosexuality didn't exist at all. It just meant that this kind of male-bonding was premised on gays' lying about who they were - with all the Brokeback pain and deception and mixed messages that entailed.