Vt. Military College Holding First Gay Pride Week
NORTHFIELD - Barely six months after the expiration of the military’s "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy prohibiting gay service members from serving openly, the nation’s oldest private military academy is holding its first gay pride week.
Norwich University’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Allies Club held its first meeting in September within hours of the end of "don’t ask, don’t tell," the rule that prevented gay service members from serving openly in the military. Now, the organization is planning a week of events to be highlighted by Norwich’s first queer prom, where Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is going to be the keynote speaker. And many alumni are expected to return to campus, said club president and Norwich senior Joshua Fontanez, 22, of Browns Mills, N.J.
"They are truly saying, ’We’re proud to come back home. This is something we wish that happened when we were here,’" he said.
The gay pride week, kicking off Monday, will feature six days of events - one for each color of the LGBT flag - with lectures and presentations on topics as varied as workshops on bias, harassment and bullying, to HIV testing to the Condom Olympics.
Norwich officials believe the club is the first of its kind in the country on a military campus. Organizers are hoping to get members of U.S. military academies to attend the prom.