Military Intelligence: LGBT Group Forming At West Point

The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has trickled down to military academies, with the recent news that Norwich University—the country’s oldest such institution—is celebrating its first Pride festival this week. Now a new branch of Spectrum, an LGBT alliance  founded at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in December, is forming at West Point. Cadet Andrew Fitzsimmons says, “everyone has been very professional… It’s been a very positive environment.”

Knights Out—an association of West Point alumni, staff and faculty who support the LGBT community—has existed since 2009, but this would be the first time active cadets are joining an openly gay group. Knights Out is holding its first gala dinner at West Point on March 31 and ticket sales are so brisk they’ve sold out. (Organizers are trying to find room for more seats.)

Hmm, what was all that talk about military cohesion?

Photos: West Point Public Affairs

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  • The Real Mike in Asheville

    Smiles and cheers!

  • [email protected]

    This is yet another article demonstrating why one should always read anything by an Associated Press [AP] hack, excuse me, writer with a grain of salt. FIRST: Including a photo of the founder of the LGBT+ group at Norwich University, and describing its “gay pride” events under a title and with body text referring to military ACADEMIES, as well as calling Norwich an “academy” is irresponsibly misleading to a public programmed to equate such terms with schools sponsored by the Pentagon and paid for with tax dollars. Norwich itself is absolutely not. It is, as the article barely notes, a PRIVATE school, and does NOT typically refer to itself as an “academy” but rather a university and college, and, like any other such school such as, e.g., the University of Colorado, only its students enrolled in ROTC were subject to DADT regulations. SECOND & WORSE STILL: It is NOT West Point sponsoring the Knights Out [KO] dinner—it is simply being held AT West Point. And KO is a totally independent, 501c3 alumni group. Nor is the gay group there and at the Coast Guard Academy sponsored BY those institutions—they are cadet groups. This is not to deny that things are getting better for gays in military and military-related environments, but mixing Norwich with actual US military academies is equating apples with oranges, and a false headline is unacceptable. Further, the Defense Department has for years refused to permit gay pride events for its thousands of CIVILIAN employees even though they COULD be open at work, and were protected against discrimination as all civilian federal government employees have officially been since an Executive Order by then-President Bill Clinton. They have MUCH more to catch up with and atone for than simply permitting these baby steps made by gays themselves. Thank you.

  • [email protected]

    Addendum: The article I was referencing was the one you linked to, and had previously highlighted separately. Also, I should have pointed out above that while the DOD has been banning gay pride events for its civilian employees unaffected by DADT, other federal agencies such as the State Department have been encouraging them. Every bit of ground gained by gays in the military is going to continue to have to be fought for as it’s going to take a lot more than pretty words and PowerPoint slides to flush out the poison of over two centuries of officially endorsed homophobia in our military.

  • cam

    @[email protected]:

    You said that none of this is going on in actual Military Academies, I wanted to point out this part of the article.

    Now a new branch of Spectrum, an LGBT alliance founded at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in December, is forming at West Point. “

Comments are closed.