Stonewall Columbus Media Contact:
Sr. Coordinator – Communications & Creative Services
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
**Stonewall Columbus Honors LGBTQ+ Veterans in Annual Recognition Program**
COLUMBUS, OH, November 06, 2023 – This November, Stonewall Columbus will honor the service and sacrifice of ten distinguished veterans and one partner/spouse in its annual LGBTQ+ Veterans Recognition program. Reflecting on the significance of this event, Executive Director Densil Porteous remarked, “For 17 years, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ imposed silence on our service members. It was a policy of discrimination that negated the truth of those serving. Before and during its enforcement, LGBTQ+ service members had to conceal their true selves to serve our country—our shared home.”
First inaugurated in 2014, Stonewall Columbus’s November celebration honor the bravery and selflessness of our LGBTQ+ community members who have served/serve in the military. “Our veterans have not only served with distinction but have also been instrumental in advancing the cause of equality within and beyond the armed forces,” said Porteous. “Their courage in the face of institutional discrimination exemplifies the best of what we stand for as an organization and as a nation.”
The program, renamed in 2018 to honor Donald R. Hallman – a veteran and a 2015 honoree – aims to shed light on the contributions and challenges of LGBTQ+ military personnel throughout history. “Today, we stand on the shoulders of LGBTQ+ veterans who have tirelessly worked towards fulfilling the promise of equality,” Porteous added. “Their legacy is our guiding star as we continue to support and advocate for all service members, irrespective of their gender identity or sexual orientation.”
The recognition event will include personal stories from honorees, highlighting the progress made and the battles still to be fought for LGBTQ+ rights within the military. Stonewall Columbus invites the community to join in this celebration and to continue supporting our veterans who have given so much for the nation.
2023 Stonewall Columbus “Donald R. Hallman LGBTQ+ Veterans Recognition”
Conrado “CJ” Martin
2022 Stonewall Columbus “Donald R. Hallman LGBTQ+ Veterans Military Spouse Recognition”
Past Recipients: https://stonewallcolumbus.org/veteransmonth/
2022 Recipients video: https://youtu.be/K0otSgvGAFw
Stonewall Columbus, an independent 501(c)(3)nonprofit, is one of the oldest LGBTQ+ community organizations in the country; founded in 1981, today Stonewall Columbus’ mission is to increase visibility, inclusion, and connection for the LGBTQ+ community. Stonewall represents more than 10,000 LGBTQ+ and allied community members in the Central Ohio region. Stonewall provides an array of evolving programs and services to the LGBTQ+ and allied communities supported by community donations, corporate partnerships, and grants. Annual Columbus PRIDE events and march are produced by Stonewall Columbus. Stonewall’s physical home is the Stonewall Columbus Community Center–a community center for all. Stonewall envisions a community where we all THRIVE.
Mission: increase visibility, inclusion, and connection for the LGBTQ+ community.
Values: History. Visibility. Inclusion. Connection. Accountability.