While a U.S. military base in Afghanistan has already celebrated gay pride in a photo applauded around the world this week, here at home military academies are for the first time able to let their students do the same. Six months after the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," military schools are hosting historic Pride Week events in a first for the United States.
A first of its kind LGBT club at the Norwich Academy (the country's oldest private military school) continues making history by kicking of an inaugural Pride Week celebration for students.
According to the SF Gate:
Cadets in uniform at Norwich University, the nation's oldest private military academy, participated Monday in sessions about handling bullying and harassment as part of the school's first gay pride week. The events are believed to be the first of their kind on a military campus.
A group of alumni called Knights Out will hold a campus dinner this weekend and is expecting at least a dozen cadets to attend, said the group's director, Sue Fulton, a 1980 West Point graduate who was among the first women admitted to the academy.
The events this week — held at a different time of year from many other gay pride events, which usually are observed in June or October — include discussions of HIV testing; the "condom Olympics," in which prophylactics are given as prizes; and a dance at which same-sex partners are welcome.
"The aspects of my sexual orientation, how that played in the military, that was something I was willing to sacrifice, being open versus serving my nation," said Joshua Fontanez, president of the Norwich University Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Question, and Allies Club. "It's something I feel I was truly called toward and truly loved, so it's great that I don't have necessarily to make that sacrifice."
(Source and image: SF Gate)