You Are Not Alone: We Take Pride in Military Families
Welcome to our monthly series we’re calling You are Not Alone! Last month we discussed mental health issues military spouses, and this month we’re celebrating our service members, spouses and children within the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month.
Taking Pride in All Who Serve
Only since 2011, have openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual people been permitted to serve in the military. Acceptance for LGBTQ+ in the military expanded with the lifting of the transgender ban in 2021.
Still, some LGBTQ+ service members may worry about living openly. They may fear being harassed or passed over for assignments or promotions. While acceptance of LGBTQ+ service members is a relatively new development in the military’s long history, the Department of Defense is committed to maintaining a strong force that reflects the nation’s diversity.
But, given the military’s 245-year history, its policy to accept LGBTQ+ service members into its ranks is still relatively new. Cultural changes take time; stigma against LGBTQ+ service members may linger. This can be a barrier to living openly as an LGBTQ+ person within the military and its community.
Trailblazers like Lt. Col. Bree Fram, the highest-ranking openly transgender service member, or Maj. Gen. (ret.) Tammy Smith, co-creator of the Army’s People Strategy, are breaking down long-held barriers. However, there is still so much more to be done.
NMFA is committed to helping create Diversity, Equity and Inclusion standards that cultivate a safe military community for our nation’s service members and their loved ones.
Learn more about LGBTQ+ history within the military.
Need Help? Start Here.
Depending on your family’s needs, here are some resources that can be beneficial and helpful for LGBTQ+ military families:
- Mental health resources through Veterans Affairs
- American Military Partner Association
- Support for military families with LGBTQ+ children and teens through PFLAG
- Modern Military Association of America
You are Not Alone!
You deserve to feel comfortable and confident in all aspects of your life and your work, especially when your work involves serving your country. If you do not feel that pride, reach out to your chain of command, a chaplain, or any of the resources here. We stand by you, and we celebrate you this Pride Month.
Contributors: David Treacher, Luke Hammerman, and Jessica Yost