Air Force Planning LGBT-Themed Events In Virginia And Texas

U.S. Air Force bases in Texas and Virginia plan to host multiple on-base events commemorating Pride Month in the coming weeks.

Air Force Maj. Carrie Volpe confirmed the Virginia base has plans to host its second annual “Diversity Equity Inclusion & Accessibility Festival” on June 30, 2023, which will include a “Pride informational booth,” and “many other exhibits from diverse groups.”

According to Joint Base Langley-Eustis’ (JBLE) website, the Air Force base will soon hold additional festivities celebrating “Rainbow” month, including a “Rainbow Run” on June 15, 2023, a Pride Month Paint n’ Sip, and LGBT Panel on June 23, 2023.

All the events are led by the Breaking Barriers Alliance, a JBLE initiative that, according to Volpe, is created to “cultivate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I).”

Diversity, equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs are driven by an ideology similar to affirmative action that ignores a person’s qualification for something. DEI prefers a person’s race or gender over their qualifications. Individuals who qualify for a position based on their skills but don’t meet the goal of being “diverse,” are passed over in favor of others that do.

The JBLE initiative’s “main objective is to foster an organizational culture that promotes a diverse and inclusive environment for members to facilitate open dialogue, recognize and embrace differences to improve mission performance,” Volpe said.

Notably, JBLE Breaking Barriers Alliance hosted several “guest speakers and performances” during the “DE&I Summer Festival” in 2022, including one by Harpy Daniels, a Navy Drag queen who was recently recruited by the branch to become a “Navy Digital Ambassador.”

Alongside JBLE, there are plans to host a Pride parade at Texas’ Laughlin Air Force Base.

According to Air Force Technical Sgt. Dustin Mullen, a team of volunteers “under Laughlin’s Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Committee” are currently scheduling such an event for Laughlin airmen, but that “approval for the parade is in coordination and there is [currently] no confirmed time, date, or route.”

When asked if there would be an age limit for the potential parade, Mullen said that “anyone with base access will be able to attend” should the event be held on base.

Mullen further claimed that “no drag queen performances have been or will be scheduled” and that “no taxpayer dollars would fund the event,” adding that “funding would be through donations and manpower would be provided by volunteers.”

The Air Force’s scheduled Pride events in Virginia and Texas would not be the first of such. The branch previously scheduled an all-ages, June 1, 2023, drag show at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Following pressure from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley ordered the event’s cancellation.