As Pride Month nears its end, Keesler Air Force Base wanted to commemorate the LGBT community. Local equality groups and a panel of experts were all on hand to promote equality and diversity.
Every year, Keesler Air Force Base holds different observance days, celebrating diversity in the military and across the country. Captain Jeanette Santos said, “It’s all about being inclusive and kind of highlighting different contributions from different groups, so primarily that and education. We want to educate everybody, kind of spread the knowledge with everybody about different parts of the history of our nation.”
LGBT Observance Day featured equality groups from across the state, all who were welcomed onto the base to educate and celebrate their culture. Captain Santos tells News 25 that as an immigrant herself, diversity and inclusion is important to her. “In general, it’s always been important for me to celebrate diversity and to know more about different cultures and different groups.”
The Gulf Coast Equality Council had the opportunity to set up at the event, helping to get the word out to let some people know they aren’t alone. President Kara Coley said, “There are so many people in this world that don’t have equal rights and we’re striving to make that something that exists.”
The Equality Council is a non-profit organization that centers around acceptance and diversity, hoping to bring the Gulf Coast together through inclusion. President Kara Coley thinks that message has started to sink-in, starting with an invite to a military-hosted event celebrating the LGBT community. “It’s a really big deal and it makes me really proud to be a part of something, to be part of this day and age where it is so OK to have an event like this and not be shunned for it. It’s very proud and humbling and it makes me very emotional.”
For those interested in speaking with someone or just being a part of the Gulf Coast Equality Council visit gulfcoastequalitycouncil.org.