FORT GORDON, Ga. (NNS) -- Members of Navy Information Operations Command Georgia participated in Fort Gordon's inaugural event for Pride Month June 23.
Since 2012, the Department of Defense has recognized Pride Month, a celebration of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community of the armed forces.
Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) 2nd Class Jase Daniels discussed the chronology of the military's ban on LGBT service members and the subsequent repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Daniels was discharged twice under the DADT act and was the first person to be reinstated after repeal.
"Visibility is revolutionary. It's our responsibility in the military, and as part of the LGBT community to stand out as leaders, so that like those that went before us, we can work to make a better life for those that come tomorrow," Daniels explained.
Celebrated annually in June, Pride celebrations afford the opportunity for the LGBT community to celebrate accomplishments that have been made, and focus on the work that still needs to be done to attain full equality.
Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Michael Knadler, master of ceremonies for the event, opened the ceremony, which was held at Fort Gordon's Woodworth Library. Fort Gordon Librarian Thomas Moss then remarked on LGBT history and the importance of Pride celebration.
He was followed by Cryptologic Technicians (Interpretive) 3rd Class Stephanie Wright and Tiffani Trimm who reviewed the military's progressive nature integrating historically marginalized groups in the Armed Forces.
Knadler closed the ceremony by reading President Barack Obama's pride month proclamation.
"This month, as we mark 45 years since the patrons of the Stonewall Inn defied an unjust policy and awakened a nascent movement, let us honor every brave leader who stood up, sat in, and came out, as well as the allies who supported them along the way. Following their example let each of us speak for tolerance, justice, and dignity - because if hearts and minds continue to change over time, laws will too."
When asked why she supported the event,Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) 2nd Class Katie Israel exclaimed, "Why wouldn't I?"
"I have so many great people in my life that just are gay or lesbian. Why wouldn't I support them? Especially here in Georgia, we need to do everything we can to educate the public and support all who serve, regardless of sexual orientation," Israel said.
The event was sponsored by GLASS Georgia, which stands for Gay, Lesbian and Supportive Service-members Georgia. It is an initiative started at Navy Information Operations Command Georgia in support of a base free of prejudice, bigotry and harassment by fostering a safe space for LGBT service members and allies. The group meets the first and third Mondays of every month at the base library.
For more news from Navy Information Operations Command Georgia, visit www.navy.mil/local/niocg/.