Members show pride in LGBT events

By Kristin Molinaro DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

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The Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Special Emphasis Program reported a spike in membership over the summer following their Pride Month celebration and participation in Diversity and Inclusion Day.

The Installation Equal Employment Opportunity Office hosts more than a dozen Special Emphasis Program events throughout the year with the help of volunteers. Members get the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people, while assisting with cultural programs.

The LGBT committee’s Pride Month program “Celebrate With Pride” featured guest speaker Russell Goodwin, an LGBT activist and former Congressional candidate. Goodwin drew a substantial audience for his presentation at DLA Land and Maritime.

Goodwin, a Navy veteran and Columbus, Ohio, native, spoke of his experience as a gay man serving in the military in the late 70s to late 90s.

“I couldn’t publicly become active in the LGBT struggle, and that was difficult for me,” Goodwin said at the time.

After retiring from the Navy, Goodwin served in the Fleet Reserve and became more involved in LGBT concerns, particularly as it affected his relationship with his long-term partner. He joined Stonewall Columbus and eventually served two terms as its president. He went on to run for Congress in the 12th district, opposing Pat Tiberi, on an open LGBT status. He lost but received nearly 35,000 votes.

His speech was very powerful and resonated with the audience, said Jiwon Han, who is in her second year as chairperson of the LGBT SEP Committee. Han is the process compliance branch chief for DLA Land and Maritime’s Business Process Support Directorate.

At the Diversity and Inclusion event, the LGBT committee joined all of the EEO SEPs for a half-day event with booths set up in various buildings to teach associates about the various cultures and committees. That event was also a success for the committee.

Both events led to increases in new members.

While the committee is responsible for planning the annual LGBT Pride Month event, Han said they also use monthly meetings as a place for fellowship and to find out what’s going on around the community.

“It’s a safe space. It’s not just for those who identify as LGBT – it’s for everybody. Everyone is welcome,” Han said.

The LGBT SEP meets the first Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. in Building 20 Room B726N. Their next meeting is Oct. 3. For more information, contact Jiwon Han at Jiwon.Han@dla.mil.

Looking for a volunteer opportunity to get involved with cultural events at DSCC? Become a member of an Equal Employment Opportunity Office Special Emphasis Program.

If you’re interested in learning about other SEPs and how to join, visit http://www.dla.mil/LandandMaritime/About/Offices/EEO/EEO-Special-Emphasis/ .