Military academies hold first gay pride events

By WILSON RING The Associated Press

NORTHFIELD, Vt. — At the beginning of the school year, gay pride events at a military academy with titles like "condom Olympics" and "queer prom" would have been unthinkable. This week, they're a reality.

Cadets in uniform at Norwich University, the nation's oldest private military academy, participated Monday in sessions about handling bullying and harassment as part of the school's first gay pride week. The events are believed to be the first of their kind on a military campus.

Just over six months after the end of the "don't ask, don't tell" rule that prohibited gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces, it's a different — and less secretive — world.

Until last year, only a select few at Norwich knew of the sexual orientation of Joshua Fontanez, 22, of Browns Mills, N.J., a past president of the student government who quietly laid the groundwork for the school's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Allies Club, which held its first meeting the day the law ended.

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