Abe Levy…………………. A military psychiatrist in his early 60’s, Jewish, intellectual, self-absorbed
Adam Bullard…………….A military psychiatrist in his early 40’s, younger colleague of Abe’s
Lorene Levy………………Abe’s wife, 50’s, disenchanted housewife
Jenna Levy……………… Abe and Lorene’s daughter, early 20’s, rebellious, desperate for her father’s approval
Major Alan Rogers………The ghost of a gay officer, killed in Baghdad in 2008, African-American, 40 years old
Matthew Shepard……….The ghost of a gay man murdered near Laramie, Wyoming, 1998, frail, 21 years old
The time is 1969. Homosexuality is still considered a mental illness. The Stonewall riots have just occurred. Two army psychiatrists are working on a presentation about “full inclusion into the tribe”—how a sense of belonging to the majority group prevents soldiers from breaking down in combat. The younger psychiatrist has a secret: Will he be turned away from his “tribe” if his friends and colleagues find out that he is gay? Adam’s “secret” is set in relief as the older psychiatrist has just received an emergency phone call about one of his patients—a soldier being dishonorably discharged for having a male lover.
There are two time traveling ghosts from the future who are mostly invisible to the other characters: Matthew Shepard, a gay college student murdered in 1998 and Major Alan Rogers, a leader in the LGBT Community, killed in action in Iraq, 2008. Rogers and Shepard serve as a chorus of how much and how little the culture has changed in 40 years—in its attitudes to “the other.” Shepard and Rogers assist Adam in testing the system. They help Adam take a stand to see if his “tribe” will stick with him in the trenches. Too late, Abe realizes that he has been blind to Adam’s plight and to the greater meaning of their work together.