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Serving with Pride

16 June 2023

From Anna Marie G. General, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - Community, connectedness and an opportunity to be amongst members of the LGBTQ+ community are some of the examples that Lt. Nick Grant, an embedded mental health officer at Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, shared about on his feelings about Pride Month.
When the “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” (DADT) policy was repealed in 2011, Grant remembered thinking for the first time that serving in the Navy might finally be an option for his future career.

“I remember feeling both excited and relieved when DADT was repealed,” said Grant. “At that time, I was a graduate student working on my PhD in clinical psychology and specifically focusing my research in LGBTQ mental health.”

At that moment, as Grant was thinking of the opportunity it presented to himself, he was excited for this monumental step forward in the LGBTQ movement because it would not close off part of who he was.

“Today, one of my favorite parts of sharing my story is sharing with people that I am an out and proud gay naval officer who gets to provide direct support to the surface warfare community and the ships homeported here in Pearl Harbor, which is truly something that would never have been possible under DADT,” said Grant.

As an out gay cisgender man, Grant has a background in LGBTQ+ research, public policy and advocacy, and community engagement. He is currently the GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality and past co-chair of the Naval Medical Force Pacific Transgender Care Team (NMFP TGCT).

One positive aspect he shares about being a part of the LGBTQ+ community is how his military career relates directly to the Navy’s commitment to connectedness among every Sailor as part of our culture of excellence.

“Being a part of a community with such a deep history of connectedness and taking care of one another has definitely made me a strong leader, a better mental healthcare provider and an officer who values and is dedicated to taking care of our Sailors,” said Grant.

June is Pride Month. It is observed in June to commemorate the riots that occurred in June 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, New York, and became the catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world. Today, Pride Month recognizes the achievements of this movement and continuing eff orts to ensure equal rights for those whose sexual orientation or gender identity falls outside the mainstream. 

This year’s theme is “Equality without Exception.”

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