June 10, 2015

Today we hear from Barb D'Arco, president of PFLAG Ogden, one of our Utah chapters. She writes of a moving, major milestone, one that could not have happened without the hard work of PFLAGers everywhere!

I am a civilian employee of Hill Air Force Base. When I received an email in March of this year with an invitation to participate on a committee for the first ever Pride Awareness Month on a stateside military installation, I raised my hand high! Our committee, a mix of civilians and military members, was excited to get started and got busy planning three events to bring Pride to Hill Air Force Base. I volunteered to be committee chair for an LGBTQ Community Resource Fair, which would bring helping agencies from the community to provide information and assistance to the airmen and families serving here.

The event was held on 11 June and was a huge success! With the help of the committee and our wonderful LGBTQ community we had 29 organizations come to base for four hours. They set up booths, handed out materials and chat with about 130 military and civilians employees. It was an honor that even the Base Commander came out to show her support during this event.

There were to other events held this month: One was a Pride Night celebration on 21 June, where we showed the Family Acceptance Project short film “Always My Son” with a panel discussion afterwards. We also had various LGBTQ performers playing music, reading poetry, performing improv and performing in drag.

On 24 June we sponsored a luncheon where Kristin Beck was our special guest speaker. While Kristin happens to be a transgender retired Navy Seal she is so much more! She spoke of Equality...not just for the LGBTQ community but for each and every one of us! We are all deserving of love and of loving ourselves! We all deserve to be accepted for just who we are! The take away for me was this....."If not me? Who? If not now? When?" Thank you Kristin! You inspire me! This event was even covered in the local news!

As President of the PFLAG Ogden chapter I am overjoyed to have been a part of bringing LGBTQ awareness to Hill Air Force Base and hope to continue this as a tradition for many more years to come.