John M. Becker

Organizers Needed for Military LGBT Pride Observances

Filed By John M. Becker | May 23, 2014 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: American Military Partner Association, call to action, Defense Department, LGBT Pride, military, open service, Pentagon, Pride Month

pentagon-pride-flyer.jpgThis year, for the first time, LGBT Pride Month is a special observance that's officially sanctioned by the Defense Department. The official date for the observance is Friday, June 27.

Writing for the American Military Partner Association, Navy Master Chief Dwayne Beebe-Franqui explains:

[The] Pride Month Observance... will be conducted to recognize the continuous achievements and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) service members and civil service employees to increase awareness, mutual respect, and understanding. Pride Month has been designed to enhance cross-cultural awareness and promote harmony among all military members, their families, and the civilian work force...

Only recently has the Department of Defense recognized Pride Month with a special observance at the Pentagon in 2012 and 2013. A few events also took place in 2013 outside of the Pentagon, however with your efforts, 2014 will go down in history as the first military-wide pride month observance.

However, as the AMPA points out, the Pride Month Observance is a "service member-coordinated event," meaning that it's up to LGBT military members and their allies to step up to the plate and coordinate observances at their local military installations.

Servicemembers at U.S. military bases across the country (and beyond!) are already doing just that, but more are needed in order to make Pride Month a truly military-wide observance.

Information on how you can help -- whether or not you're a member of the military yourself -- is after the jump.

obama-dadt-repeal-gay-soldiers.jpgIf you're a member of the military who wants to coordinate a Pride Month Observance, AMPA has assembled a handy batch of templates and sample documents to make all stages -- from planning to execution to follow-up -- as easy as possible. Click here to check 'em out at the AMPA website, and don't forget to also consult the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI)'s guidance for organizing observances.

If you're not a military member yourself -- but still believe our military, like all other institutions in society -- needs to be as LGBT-inclusive, affirming, and proud as possible -- you can help raise awareness too! Sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms, and by sending it to any LGBT servicemembers you know.

Together, we can help the U.S. military publicly take pride in the LGBT community.

A video package showing a Pride Month observance at a U.S. Navy installation last year -- one of the few that occurred outside the Pentagon -- is below.

(Postscript: does anyone else think it's a little strange that the Pentagon is calling this an "LGBT Pride Month Observance" at the same time that it prohibits transgender military members from serving openly? Hopefully the Defense Department will take pride in the full LGBT military community by lifting this nonsensical ban as soon as possible!)

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.