A purported Navy officer is calling out the sea service for allegedly removing a LGBTQ Pride Month post from its official Instagram account.
An Instagram user, whose bio states she is a naval officer, pointed out that the Navy’s account appeared to have removed a Pride Month post in the past 24 hours.
That user’s story shows a Pride Month post where the wake of a fighter jet contained the rainbow colors of the LGBTQ pride flag.
“Pride Month 2023″ was written to the left of the pride jet.
The officer posted a Instagram story Friday noting that the post was “very similar” to what the Navy puts up every year during Pride Month.
“Some Navy imagery, some rainbows,” she said in the story.
“I know people who have been in the Navy for 12-plus years who had to hide a whole part of themselves under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ so this is meaningful to them,” she added.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was a policy that had banned LGBTQ servicemembers from openly serving.
The Senate rescinded the policy in 2010 and it was signed into law by President Obama.
Pride Month posts are still up on the Navy’s official Facebook account, but there was no mention of Pride Month on the service’s official Twitter.
Asked Friday whether the Navy had indeed removed the Pride Month post from its IG, a Navy official released the following statement that did not answer the question:
“The US Navy posted graphics in support of the start of Pride month to honor the service, commitment and sacrifice of the LGBTQ+ Service members and personnel who volunteer to defend our country. As we do with all Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) observance months, we will look for additional opportunities to celebrate the diversity and strength of our Sailors. Members of the LGBTQ+ community serve their country, fully contribute to the DoD mission, and deserve a welcoming environment which enables them to reach their full potential.”
The military and corporations have for years latched onto Pride Month to express solidarity with the LGBTQ community, and military brass regularly note that the American military’s strength is found in the diversity of its ranks.
But things have been different this year, with major companies like Target facing backlash over Pride Month clothing displays that have outraged some conservatives.
The comments on a Navy Facebook post supporting Pride Month, which shows a jet, sub and aircraft carrier leaving a rainbow-colored wake, offer a glimpse into people’s differing views on such posts.
“For the first time in my life I am ashamed to have served in this joke of a Navy,” one commenter wrote.
“Just don’t understand why you chose to celebrate who people have sex with,” another user posted.
“This happens every year during this month,” another commenter wrote. “Some of y’all are so scared of rainbows, it’s funny.”
Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.