JUNE 27 SATURDAY, 3:00 – 5:00 EST
Meet Colonel Patsy Thompson (ARNG, ret.), Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer (USAR, ret.), and Eric Fanning, 22nd Secretary of the Army. They played key roles in changing military policy toward LGBTQ service members, and are featured in the new documentary, SURVIVING THE SILENCE. Join us for clips from the film and an interactive panel, led by filmmaker and LGBTQ advocate Cindy L. Abel, talking about making change and the current state of inclusion.
Followed by the panel, participants will have the option to join in two of three sessions:
(1) Allyship, led by Jeffry Priela
(2) Current landscape of LGBTQ military service (with focus on trans service), led by Jamie Hash
(3) Coming Out, Pronouns, and Identity, led by Tracey Cooper-Harris
Col. Margarethe Cammemeyer and Col. Patsy Thompson were both decorated nurses at the peak of their careers when their worlds collided: Thompson had to preside over the military board that dismissed Cammermeyer for being a lesbian. The way she did it, however, as a closeted officer, would lead to Cammermeyer’s eventual headline-grabbing reinstatement which began the unraveling of the new Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.
Tracey Cooper-Harris is a US Army veteran with service from 1991-2003 as an Animal Care NCO. Tracey and her wife Maggie filed a federal lawsuit against the VA and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) with the help of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in 2012. This resulted in a historic ruling in 2013 that declared unconstitutional sections of Title 38, a statute that prevented the VA from granting benefits to Cooper-Harris’ spouse.
Eric Fanning, who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of the Army and the 24th United States Under Secretary of the Air Force, is the first openly gay head of any service in the U.S. military. Fanning offers a unique perspective as he has worked in the Defense Department as a closeted then openly gay man, through four phases of US military policy: Executive Order 10450, DADT, open service of gays and lesbians after the DADT repeal, and allowing open transgender military service when he was Deputy Secretary of Defense.
Jamie Hash is an active duty Air Force Technical Sergeant who has dedicated nine years of honorable service. When stationed at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA), Hash became one of the first openly-serving transgender military members once the original transgender service ban was lifted in 2016.
Jeff Priela, a navy veteran, served in the campaign to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the subsequent fight for Marriage Equality. He served on the Board of Directors for OutServe-SLDN and its successor organization, the Modern Military Association of America.