Gay Military Member Excited, Nervous to March in Uniform in Seattle Gay Pride Parade

Gay Military Member Excited, Nervous to March in Uniform in Seattle Gay Pride Parade

With Republican Donald Trump in the White House and his Vice President Mike Pence describing himself as a Christian-first, the LGBT community may have more to be apprehensive about during this year’s Pride Month than many before. Yet as we celebrate this June, one trailblazer will be marching serving as reassurance that our country’s dedication to equality remains intact.

The Seattle Pride parade will be hugely symbolic for gay military members

June is “Pride Month”, the annual commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Riots. The New York rebellion sparked the Gay Liberation Movement and a fight for both civil and basic human rights for our LGBT brothers and sisters. The month is celebrated through many events like pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts. Today many Gay pride parades are being held across the nation, from New York to San Francisco. And yet the Associated Press reports many parades are featuring a sense of “resistance” as an unfriendly party controls Congress and the Presidency. But as one New Jersey reveler at the main New York parade stated,

But I think with all these people here, they’re going to show we’re fighting back and we’re proud of who we are. I think we’re going to overcome it and show Trump who’s boss, well, who’s the real boss.

 

related link: Bigoted GOP Lawmaker Doesn’t Think Gays are Human

As a shining light today in Seattle’s Gay Pride Parade, where thousands will join together in a celebration of and in solidarity with the city’s LGBT community, one marcher will stand out representing a first. According to Seattle’s local KING5 TV News, Nathaniel Boehme, an active-duty gay military member currently serving with the Air National Guard out of Portland, will be the first active-duty gay military member to march in uniform for the first time in a gay pride parade with Pentagon approval.

KING 5 has Boheme stating:

In my time in Iraq I served under ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ and I had to, much like many of my colleagues had to serve in silence.

But Boheme continued with advice for gay citizens considering serving in our Nation’s armed forces,

We live in a great nation, we really do, and we have our ups and downs, but we have a nation, and a state especially here in Oregon, and Washington truthfully, that supports us in all that we do. So those who want to serve need not do so in silence anymore, and I would say follow your heart.

Related Link: Top Ranking Army Generals Break Tradition, Endorse A Presidential Candidate For The First Time

On Jun .21st, Seattle Pride board Vice President David Hale was quoted as saying in the Seattle Times,

This year, with a new administration, people are rightfully scared.

We all agree, yet we can still look to Boheme and others and see a light in the darkness. On KING 5, Boheme’s reaction to when received the letter from a Lieutenant General at the Pentagon expressing the approval of wearing the uniform was,

I honestly cried a little bit. I teared up. And for me personally, again, as a gay service member, it’s really monumental because it means that we are working toward a military and a community that’s more inclusive and recognizes all people’s contributions to the service of this nation no matter what.

Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

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