For nearly a decade, AMPA has been on the front lines fighting to advance fairness and equality for our LGBTQ military families — and 2018 was certainly a challenging year in our mission. We faced an alarming assault on the critically important progress we’ve made, but the AMPA team was there to fight back at every turn. As we close out the year, it’s important to take a quick look back at all that we accomplished together.
Over the past year, we’ve been laser focused on Donald Trump’s unconscionable attempts to implement a transgender military ban. Along with the far majority of Americans, we believe strongly that any qualified individual — regardless of their gender identity — should be able to serve our great country. With our partners, we launched a new television ad — entitled “Patriots” — featuring military, national security, and bipartisan officials voicing opposition to the Trump-Pence administration’s attempts to ban trans service members. The television ad was part of a large paid media campaign and complemented a full page print ad that we also ran with our partners in USA Today and more than 32 regional Gannett papers nationwide.
It’s crucial that the country hear directly from our transgender service members through this fight, so we continued to ensure their voices are front and center. AMPA is also proud to be an organizational plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging Trump’s ban in court, and so far we’ve successfully blocked it from being implemented. We remain hopeful that justice will prevail over blatant bigotry and discrimination.
In May, we launched a brand-new program — MilPride — for military families with LGBTQ youth. Our MilPride team has been busy working to connect these modern military families for mutual support both online and in person. Just last month, we started a new monthly support group at Fort Belvoir.
At the 5th annual AMPA National Gala in Washington, DC, we brought together hundreds of our LGBTQ military families and allies from across the country and around the world to honor them for their service and sacrifice to our nation. A rare opportunity for our families to come together and be with other folks who are just like they are, this event has truly become an incredibly important highlight of the year.
From holding LGBTQ cultural competency training for the broader military community, to ensuring our military families have the resource and support network they need and deserve, our work is more important than ever. And we continue to give our families a platform to share their stories. From AMPA’s very beginning, amplifying these voices has been key to our success in advancing fairness and equality.
To top it all off, this year we were thrilled to award five incredible military spouses the AMPA Military Spouse Scholarship, presented by Hilton, to help them pursue their higher education goals. It’s so great to see the real difference our scholarship program is making in the lives of these military spouses.
As we wrap up the year and look ahead, will you help us raise $2019 to start 2019? With your help, we’ll be able to continue our incredibly important mission of education, advocacy, and support for LGBTQ military families and allies. Enlist in the fight for our military families now.