CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea -- A LGBT Pride Month observance was held, at the Warrior Theater, to celebrate the contributions of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, here, June 27.
Members and allies of the LGBT community filled the theater to hear of the struggles, acceptances, and other personal stories.
Guest speaker for the event, Sgt. 1st Class Kristina Manookin, who is the 210th Fires Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, equal opportunity advisor, shared how differences strengthen society.
"We all have something strong to bring to the table and different points of view, perspectives, and ideas on how to accomplish the mission or how to do something that someone from a different background may not have thought of," she said. "I think that strengthens all of us as a whole.
"Love everyone, don't be rude, and just accept people. Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean that you shouldn't give it a chance and doesn't mean you should be afraid of it," Manookin added.
Manookin and a panel of nine people comprised of Soldiers, civilians, and spouses shared their personal experiences on being a part of the LGBT community.
Sgt. Major Keyon Washington, the 65th Medical Brigade operations sergeant major, said "I'm very proud for people to know who I am authentically, because I want my Soldiers to share who they are with me authentically."
"I hope that me being out and gay in the Army, especially in uniform, that it inspires other people to be themselves," said Spc. Troy O'Neal, assigned as an Eighth Army, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion G1 manpower clerk. "The LGBT community is here and it should be recognized, and whether people decide to recognize us or respect us [or not], we will be here. We're not going anywhere."