Tammy Smith Hub




Founder of Support Group for LGBT Military Partners to Sit with Michelle Obama at 'State of the Union' Address

Tracey Hepner, the wife of Army Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith, the first openly gay general in the military, will sit with Michelle Obama during the State of the Union Address, the WaPo reports:

SmithTracey Hepner of Arlington, who co-founded the Military Partners and Families Coalition, a support group for LGBT military partners and their families, has been chosen to sit with first lady Michelle Obama during the State of the Union address Tuesday night, the White House said Monday.

Hepner works for the Department of Homeland Security as a master behavior detection officer...A White House official said the first lady’s box will include a variety of Americans whose lives would benefit from the policy proposals President Obama will announce Tuesday, including victims of gun violence, military families and those involved in immigration reform.

Hepner and Smith were married last March.


150 Game Changing Wins that Made 2012 the Gayest Year Ever

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A remarkably short four decades ago, the Stonewall Revolt of 1969 opened the flood gates for LGBT rights. The closet, so sturdy for so long, started being swept away in a rush of pride. Still, LGBT Americans lived in a culture of "tolerance," a popular euphemism for enduring.

There have been momentous years since then — both Barney Frank's 1987 coming out and the 2003 Supreme Court ruling overturning anti-sodomy laws come to mind — but when we look back in twenty years time or ten or even five, 2012 will be remembered as quantum leap for LGBT rights in the United States of America. It's the year that equality went from being a far-off dream to becoming an inevitable, immutable and irreversible reality. Even Newt Gingrich agrees!

This was the year of equality, the year the American dream came into sharper focus and the nation crossed from begrudgingly tolerating gays, and sometimes even acknowledging their relationships, to demanding our inclusion in the greater American family. Coming out is for the large part no longer a big deal, which is a big deal in and of itself.

There have never been as many out and proud elected officials; never before has Wall Street embraced us with such force; never before have so many conservatives admitted they need to shift gears on marriage equality and embrace change. This was a year of "never before" and "never again."

AFTER THE JUMP, 150 reasons why 2012 was a year of permanence for LGBT Americans, a year that the next wave of rights began its swoop across the purple mountain majesty and above the fruited plain.

And for more of our 2012 Year in Review, be sure to read "I'm Gay: 50 Most Powerful Comings Outs of 2012" HERE.

Continue reading "150 Game Changing Wins that Made 2012 the Gayest Year Ever" »


I'm Gay: The 50 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2012

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2012: GAYEST YEAR EVER

"The fact is, I'm gay." Anderson Cooper's long-awaited announcement sums what it meant to come out in 2012. Again and again we heard the same sentiment — from pop singer Mika's equally anticipated confirmation, "If you ask me am I gay, I say yeah," to actor Andrew Rannells casually remarking about relating to a gay character, "I am gay in real life, so I definitely get it." —  proving that coming out today is in many cases a non-event, and certainly secondary to other achievements.

Yes, a lot has changed in the 15 years since Time magazine ran that cover of Ellen DeGeneres declaring, "Yep, I'm Gay," and even in the six since Lance Bass told People, "I'm Gay." Entertainment Weekly published a cover story this summer called "The New Art Of Coming Out," concluding, "The current vibe for discussing one’s sexuality is almost defiantly mellow."

Yet most of this positive change has happened in familiar territory.

Former NFL star Wade Davis' coming out was a first, as was current professional boxer Orlando Cruz's. And Lee "Uncle Poodle" Thompson from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo helped broaden the overall discussion about LGBT people. But there are a few people on this list who were less valiant, like Republican Sheriff Paul Babeu, and still others who remained quiet about their sexuality to the day they died. The debate over balance between privacy and responsibility is still one worth having, and clearly there are more arenas where LGBT people need space to shine.

All in all, though, 2012 shows that gay people who break down that closet can have it all.

Who had the 50 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2012?

Find out (in alphabetical order), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "I'm Gay: The 50 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2012" »


Tammy Smith Comes Out as She is Promoted to Brigadier General, Becomes Highest Ranking Gay Military Figure

Army reserve officer Tammy Smith (pictured with her wife Tracey Hepner) was promoted to Brigadier General today, and came out of the closet at the same time, the Stars and Stripes reports:

SmithWhat she glosses over is that along with the promotion she is also publicly acknowledging her sexuality for the first time, making her the first general officer to come out as gay while still serving. It comes less than a year after the end of the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” law.

“All of those facts are irrelevant,” she said. “I don’t think I need to be focused on that. What is relevant is upholding Army values and the responsibility this carries.”

But Smith’s pinning ceremony on Friday marks an important milestone for gay rights advocates, giving the movement its most senior public military figure. She has already been assigned as deputy chief at the Office of the Chief at the Army Reserve, and spent much of 2011 serving in Afghanistan.

Congrats!

UPDATE: Outserve has a great report from the event.


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