At the beginning of the school year, gay pride events at a military academy with titles like “condom Olympics” and “queer prom” would have been unthinkable. This week, they’re a reality.
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.
Just over six months after the end of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rule that prohibited gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces, it’s a different world.
In December, a group of students at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., formed a group called Spectrum, which has many of the same goals as the Norwich club. A similar organization with the same name is being formed in New York at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
“The official status has changed dramatically, in that public events that would have been prohibited are happening; but in terms of attitudes, I think cadets and midshipmen have long been supportive of their gay and lesbian classmates,” said Sue Fulton, a 1980 West Point graduate who was among the first women admitted to the academy.Continue Reading on online.worldmag.com