Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nick A. Grim

WESTERN PACIFIC – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Multi-Cultural Heritage Committee hosted a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, or LGBT, Pride Month celebration, June 20.

The event included Sailors addressing personal experiences and major events in LGBT history as well as musical selections and dance performances.

“Ceremonies like these are important because they bring awareness and open people’s eyes to what we are actually dealing with in life,” said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Luis Bermudez of Orlando, Fla., “It shows them that we’re human too.”

Speakers talked about the history of LGBT service members, their struggle for equality, personal struggles both in and out of the Navy, and the recent mass shooting in Orlando.

“I am here for a cause that is bigger than you and I,” said Bermudez, “LGBT Pride Month is about finding solace within yourself, seeking trust and becoming one with it, and showing acceptance in who you are.”

The event also included song selections and a flash mob dance demonstration that included many Sailors from the audience.

The event was one of many throughout the Department of Defense celebrating LGBT Pride Month, which happens every June and aims to promote diversity, the history and contributions of the LGBT community.

“These events promote diversity by allowing people to have a starting point in something they may not know a lot about,” said Aviation Support Equipment Technician Airman Alexander Faber, from Green Bay, Wsiconsins. “I think that creates a lot of diversity by giving people a better picture what things like this are all about.”

Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, John C. Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.

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