The Legacy Of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ At The Yosemite Staff Cabins

March 28, 2011

Marjorie Madson, 1994-1999, Summers, Tour Guide: Oh, come on. They didn’t mean that. It was a joke. Right? I knew all sorts of gays there. No way they meant it. It was just a Bill Clinton joke. Although, it was a National Park, I guess. That’s sort of federal, isn’t it. Shit, was it real?

Mike Timmersly, 1984-1998, Winters, Snowplow: No. Sure, I heard something about that, everyone has, just rumors. But to tell you the truth, I don’t even think there were any gay employees in my fourteen years there—okay maybe not none, but at most very few.

Steven Jeffery Wilshire, 1986-Present, Winters (and two Springs), Hotel Concierge: I blew more guys at Yosemite in Winter 1996 alone than you could in a month-long endless rave in Ibiza. Ask n’ Tell that, faggot.

Oh tell me just a little



Cameron Fuller, 2003-2006, Summers, Shuttle Bus Driver: I know there were a lot of guests who were gay, for sure. Park visitors, I mean. And good for them. But in terms of staff, hmm, that’s interesting. I hadn’t thought of it. It didn’t really seem like it was particularly unfriendly to gays, but I guess I don’t know. And my wife Wanda over there can attest to that! [Laughter]

Rachel Porta, 2002-Present, Year-Round, Ice Skate Rink (Winter) and Hike Guide (Spring-Fall): Look, I’m year-round, okay? This isn’t some fucking joke for me. I’ve dated six women in my nine years here, and there isn’t a one of them I’ve had breakfast with, if you know what I mean. What? Oh, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’? Oh, sorry. I’m vegan. No, there’s no ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ here. I just never have breakfast with my girlfriends. Breakfast is a real nightmare for vegans.

Teresa Speck, 1998-1999, Winter, Snowshoe Rentals: Oh yeah, it was real. Most definitely. Unbelievable. I knew it would be just like home, how everybod—actually, you know when I knew it? When a line cook from the Pizza Deck called me “that dude Teresa”—and everyone just laughed, including my girlfriend—I knew there was no way I was gonna stick around. ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ was alive and well in the Yosemite staff cabins in 1998. Didn’t stop me from plowing through the park’s female employees—you don’t have an ass like this in National Park employment circles without having your pick, trust me—but still it was disappointing. I went to Glacier to work the next several years. And listen, Glacier, strange as it seems (being in Montana and all), well it was like the fucking Castro compared to Yosemite.

Edward Little, 1964-1972, Winters, Snow Hike Guide: Oh my. Listen to these goddamned queens. Want to know what being gay was like in Yosemite in 1964? Talk about don’t ask, don’t tell. Shit. More like ask, get into a fight, then finally get fucked. It was blissful. And if that’s not true then I’m not Eddie Little.



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