Sailors from the Singapore Area Coordinator (SAC) celebrated Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Month 2017 with a symbolic Pride Walk June 30.
More than 20 U.S Navy Sailors and their family members participated in a mile-and-a-half walk through military housing, which is adjacent to the Sembawang Naval Installation (SNI) beginning at 7:30 a.m. The annual LGBT event was hosted and coordinated by the SAC Diversity and Heritage Committee. For Senior Chief C. J. Eison, Diversity and Heritage Committee Chairman currently assigned to Military Sealift Command Far East, this event was held to rejoice diversity in the U.S Navy.
“Everyone is different and that’s the beauty of the U.S. Navy,” said Eison. “Everyone brings something to the table in terms of serving the nation and fighting for our country
The Pride Walk included participants wearing shirts representing various colors of the rainbow along with several Sailors carrying a banner entitled, “LGBT Pride.” Then, the event culminated in a cake-cutting ceremony with a cake decorated with rainbow colors. For the one participant, this event was about respecting humanity as well as diversity.
“I came out to support the event because this is what Navy values is about,” said PS1 (SW/AW) Kenneth Nicolas Scott, currently assigned to the SAC Customer Service Department (CSD), Singapore. “We respect one another as human beings and we got to have an open mind in recognizing everybody’s differences and diversities.”
ALNAV 006/17 encourages participation in all the heritage celebrations and special services throughout the year across the Navy. In 2011 the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell allowed gay, lesbians and bisexuals to openly serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. Then, in 2016, the Department of Defense instituted a policy that allowed transgenders to serve in the military as their preferred gender.