Don't Ask Don't Tell (trope)
Also see Don't Ask Don't Tell for articles with a similar title.
|Trope · Genre|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) is a 1993 U.S. law that is sometimes used as a plot device in slash fanfiction and other fanworks. The law, in effect until September 20, 2011, banned openly lesbian, gay, and bisexual people from serving in the U.S. military. (Prior to the passage of DADT, homosexuality in the U.S. military was banned by regulation; afterwards, homosexuals could serve as long as they never admitted, or let anyone know, that they were homosexual.)
DADT is a common theme in fandoms with canon U.S. military characters, such as Stargate.
Sometimes DADT is used as a story tag more generally to cover any sort of working environment, such as Star Trek's Starfleet, The Professionals' CI-5, or The Sentinel's Cascade police force, where homophobia makes it difficult or impossible to come out and stay employed, or milieus such as popslash/bandom, where coming out could be a publicity nightmare.
Notable works using DADT as a theme
- The Rack, an early novel-length Star Trek story that attempted to refute K/S. --"In the story, Starfleet Command suspects Kirk and Spock of having an affair, and court-martials them. At the end of the story, Kirk attempts suicide. The authors wrote the story to show what, in their opinion, would "really" happen if Starfleet suspected, even erroneously, that Kirk and Spock were having an affair." 
- The Fox and The Wolf trilogy in The Professionals by Jane Carnall -- a Bodie/Cowley series in the 1990s where Cowley is outted, and fired from CI5.
- Scenes From A Lesser War by Amireal (SGA)
- DADT, Damyata, Damyadvam by trinityofone (SGA)
- Less Like Freedom Than You Might Assume by Bluflamingo (SGA)
- With Appreciation by facetofcathy (SGA)
- The Walls of Jericho by icarus (SG-1)
- DC Comics: Kate Kane is a lesbian who was expelled from the United States Military Academy after she refused to deny allegations of a homosexual relationship with a classmate. Seeking an alternate way to be a soldier and serve the public, she took on the role of Batwoman.  As the lead character of Detective Comics from issue 854 through 863, she is one of DC Comics' highest-profile gay characters.
- Donald Strachey Mysteries: In the film canon, Donald's backstory includes a discharge from the Army under DADT.
- Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the Chain of Command: getting it right in "Stargate SG-1" fanfiction by Janis C. (early to mid 2000s)
- Don't Ask, Don't Tell - Epic Rants -- We Read Fic So You Don't Have To, ; archive link by Jane Elliott at Epic Rants (2011)
- Wikipedia entry on the legal aspects of DADT.
- 309 Tropes. Slash Report. Posted 21 April 2013.
- Boldly Writing: A Trekker Fan and Zine History, 1967 - 1987, pg 44.
- ebailey140, Awesome New Female Characters: Kate Kane and her crazy sister Posted Nov 3 2010. Last accessed Nov 3 2010.