November 11, 2022
The LGBTQIA+ community has always been present in the armed forces. In recent years, their service has been increasingly recognized and celebrated. Here are some famous LGBTQIA+ war veterans who made a difference.
Harvey Milk was an openly gay politician and Navy veteran who served during the Korean War. He was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, becoming one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States. Milk served on the board for less than a year before he was assassinated, but his legacy as a champion for LGBTQIA+ rights lives on.
Laverne Cox is a transgender actress and producer best known for her role on the Netflix series "Orange is the New Black." Before her acting career, Cox served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve from 1999 to 2003. She has used her platform to speak out about transgender rights and visibility, becoming one of the most visible transgender celebrities today.
Alan Turing was a British mathematician, computer scientist, and World War II codebreaker. He is widely considered to be one of the fathers of modern computing. Turing was also gay, and he was posthumously pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013 for his 1952 conviction for "gross indecency."
Lynette Clark is a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Army who served her country for more than 30 years. She came out as a lesbian in 1992 and was subsequently discharged from the military under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Clark challenged her discharge in court, and she eventually won her case. She rejoined the Army and went on to serve with distinction until her retirement in 2003.
Sally Ride was an American astronaut and physicist. She became the first American woman in space when she flew aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983. Ride was also a lesbian, although she did not publicly come out until after she died in 2012.
These are just a few of the many LGBTQIA+ war veterans who have made a difference throughout history. They have fought for their country both on and off the battlefield, and their courage and determination have inspired generations of queer people to live their truth proudly. Thank you for your service!