Federal Government Resources Used to Promote LGBT Pride

June is Pride Month, and while Stonewall National Monument shares the unforgettable story of the 1969 riots year-round, this year kicks off a special countdown to World Pride in 2019. This annual event, which will be hosted by New York City in 2019, is the largest global Pride celebration. It …
National Park Service

June is behind us, but it is not too late to look back on what official resources federal agencies have used to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. Just how much time and money have been allocated is not clear, and this is just a sampling of agencies across the expansive federal bureaucracy.

Some things have changed since President Donald Trump was elected, replacing Barack Obama who said LGBT rights was an essential part of his foreign policy strategy.

When Obama declared the end of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” in 2011 the Pentagon held Pride Month events each following year and the practice continued into the first year of the Trump administration.

But no Pride Month event was held at the Pentagon this year and Trump, unlike his predecessor, has not issued a Pride Month proclamation on June 1 since taking office, according to the Washington Blade.

Breitbart News tracked down some of LGBT Pride Month events across federal agencies, including National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Veterans Administration (VA), Library of Congress (LOC) and, the National Park Service (NPS):

— The VA decided the best way to make sure veterans in the LGBT community feel comfortable seeking medical care was to put on a drag show, which traditionally is a parade of men dressing in women’s clothing and make-up.

National Public Radio (NPR) reported the VA was taking a “particularly fabulous approach” for its Pride Month event, organized by the White River Junction VA Medical Center in Vermont.

“Welcome to the gayest show on Earth,” the MC said to open the show in NPR’s report.

“But first, I just have to say the VA is here for its queers, and we are proud to serve all veterans,” the MC said.

— The CIA celebration was extensive and overseen in Washington, DC, by its new director, Gina Haspel, according to its website:

During our keynote event held at CIA Headquarters the first week of June, Director Haspel introduced Major General (MG) Tammy Smith, the highest ranking and first openly gay general in US history. Director Haspel described MG Smith, saying, “She refused to give in to discrimination, stayed riveted on her goals, and proceeded to blaze a trail that will go down in the history books. Today, Major General Smith is widely recognized as a pioneer in helping LGBT men and women to fully contribute—and fully belong—to the Army family.”

This event is one of several CIA activities celebrating Pride Month, including participation in the Capital DC Pride Festival and the 7th annual IC Pride Summit, of which CIA was a founder.

— The LOC said its collection of works by and about the LGBT community makes it a year-round celebration but in June the library featured discussions with authors who wrote books about homosexual romance.

“The library’s month-long celebration demonstrates how lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans have strengthened our country, by using their talent and creativity to help create awareness and goodwill,” the LOC website states.

— NASA joined the San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade in June and also had a booth. A description of the event said:

Please, stop by and say hello, take some funky photos using our infrared camera station. Learn about the autonomous helicopter that will soon be exploring the Red Planet, provided by our Aeromechanics division. Take a dive into a brilliant coral reef, brought to you by the Earth Science division. Get up close and personal with some flies and much more from our folks in the Biosciences division. Do not forget to grab a swag bag while supplies last. 

— The National Park Service has a striking photograph on its website of NPS employees — federal employees — marching with rainbow flags and celebrating the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City that was the scene of a violent clash between patrons and police in 1969 that is credited with starting the “gay rights movement” and was made a national historic monument during the Obama administration.

This year NPS, according to a blog on its website, is already looking forward to next year’s Pride Month:

June is Pride Month, and while Stonewall National Monument shares the unforgettable story of the 1969 riots year-round, this year kicks off a special countdown to World Pride in 2019. This annual event, which will be hosted by New York City in 2019, is the largest global Pride celebration. It will mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and its pivotal role as the birthplace of the modern lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer civil rights movement.

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