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Hanscom celebrates Pride, hosts Storytellers event

June is Pride Month

Col. Katrina Stephens, installation commander, signs a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month proclamation at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., June 1, while Christopher Amoroso, committee member, looks on. Base officials will host a Pride Month Storyteller event June 17 beginning at 11:30 a.m. via Zoom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Base officials will host a virtual Storytellers event to recognize Pride Month here June 17 at 11:30 a.m.

The event will feature speakers from Team Hanscom who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community and will share their personal journeys of being out in the workplace.

“For those who may not be out, or feel like they’re not comfortable being out to their coworkers, these events let them know they’re not alone,” said Christopher Amoroso, chairperson of the Hanscom LGBTQ+ committee.

Amoroso said that creating a safe workplace for people to be their true selves is important to foster a sense of community. 

“When people have to hide who they are, it’s really difficult to make connections,” he said. “Everyone should have the opportunity to make those bonds if they want them.”

Speakers will share their experiences of being out in the military before, during and after the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in September 2011.

“Before I joined the military, I was just looking for any sense of community,” said Brandon Morgan, who served in the Marine Corps from 2007 to 2016. “My Marines knew I was gay, but it didn’t matter. All that mattered was that I was a good Marine.”

Morgan said that he still encountered some ignorant comments once DADT was repealed, but noted that his military life did change in one fundamental way.

“The mission and my work stayed the same, but suddenly I had the ability to be totally truthful about what I did on the weekends,” he said. “I could talk to my peers without fear of being kicked out and having my entire life ripped from under my feet.”

The event is open to all Hanscom civilians, enlisted, and officer members and their families.

Participants can access the event at www.zoomgov.com/j/8265376 7270. Meeting ID: 826 5376 7270, passcode: 281181

“Everyone is welcome to come to Pride events and hear about what others go through,” said Amoroso. “Just like any other observance, it’s important to accept other people and be there for them.”