The base’s public affairs spokesperson Peggy Hodge stated:
Drag acts to this day represent the struggle for freedom and equality of the LGBT community, while at the same time providing a deep-rooted historical form of entertainment for the LGBT culture.
In the same vein, Brigadier General Tammy Smith, the first openly lesbian Army officer to be promoted to General, was invited to be the event’s featured speaker.
Speaking from a prepared text, Smith stated, “I would ask you to also give space to people to be authentically who they are so that they have the opportunity to replace to move a little bit what might be a stereotype and replace it with who they are authentically.”
According to the official Army Reserve website, Smith is the Director of the United States Army Reserve’s Human Capital Core Enterprise and is responsible for integrating strategic human resources policy with operational requirements to improve and sustain long-term personnel readiness across the United States Army Reserve.
As cited by the same website, Smith “and her spouse Tracey Hepner are active in volunteer military family support events in the Washington, DC and Northern Virginia area.”
The Other Side of the Coin…
However, not all see true diversity in the LAAFB Diversity Day festivities. Speaking on the grounds of strict anonymity, one of the military personnel present charged the Air Force with coming down hard on Christians while allowing singing cross dressers to perform on the taxpayers dime. “I am really surprised that this happened on a military installation,” the airman told Fox News. “I get that people want to be able to have committed relationships with members of the same sex, but this crossed the line.”
The same unidentified airman went on to accuse the local commanders of pushing a politically driven agenda, while “we can’t even have Bibles on our desks. This base is not a platform for political agendas. It is a military installation. The display was totally inappropriate and offensive.”
Diversity at All Costs…
Before the smell of gunpowder had cleared the air, General George W. Casey, the Army’s then Chief of Staff, stated in the wake of the Nidal Hasan’s 2209 killing spree at Fort Hood, Texas: “As great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well.”