LGBT troops perform in drag for military fundraiser

18th Wing changes command

Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. Photo: U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Maeson L. Elleman.

Armed service members performed in drag at a fundraiser for LGBT troops at a U.S. Air Force base in Japan. Openly lesbian and gay personnel entertained an audience at the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa—home of the largest U.S. Air Force combat wing.

Six service members dressed in drag for the OutServe Okinawa—an LGBT advocacy group started last summer—event at Rocker NCO Club, featuring drag queen personas Chocolate Sunrise and Artemis Faux, and one drag king, Manny Nuff.

“We didn’t think there was much of a desire for an event like this on the island, but it has actually blown up,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Marissa Greene, OutServe Okinawa’s co-chapter leader.

Although Greene had expected to sell about 75 tickets, 200 tickets quickly sold out. When another 200 tickets were added, those sold out too.

Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing approved the event as a variety show and OutServe Okinawa agreed not to refer to it as a drag show in promotional materials. The show would’ve been impossible a few years ago. Prior to the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, openly LGBT people were forbidden from serving in the military.

Tech. Sgt. Kristen Baker said she was proud to attend the show.

“Everything is just accepted. It makes me really proud to watch it,” Baker said. In the military, “we are all brothers and sisters no matter what.”

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