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LGBTQ ambassador serves for country and community

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Dwane Young
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

When 1st Lt. Alysa Moore, 51st Operational Medical Readiness Squadron public health element chief, shared her story for Pride Month, she recalled the moment she made an important choice.

“During Officer Training School, whenever families became a topic of discussion, I chose to mention my wife, Sarah,” said Moore.

Revealing Sarah was actually something Moore mentally debated on her way to OTS. She experienced her own personal battles coming out to her friends and family, and now happily married and beginning her career in the military, she decided she would be herself.

According to Moore, she felt compelled to wear her sexuality on her sleeve. She chose to disclose her sexual orientation and live openly, because for her, representation and visibility matters.

“Many of my classmates at OTS spent little to no time around an LGBTQ person,” said Moore. “So, whether it was fair or not, I was an ambassador and felt the pressure to represent my community.”

Moore’s ability to talk about Sarah freely stood in contrast to “Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT). 

Until 2011, DADT forced queer service members into secrecy for fear of being discriminated against or discharged from the military.

“As an openly gay officer in the military, I understand how far we’ve come,” said Moore. “I remember being an undergrad at Auburn and listening to testimonies at the congressional hearing on DADT. I don’t take for granted that my life is easier today than it would have been just 11 years ago.”

Military service runs in Moore’s family. Her father was enlisted in the Air Force for 15 years before commissioning as an officer. 

“I felt military service could be in my future, but at that time serving openly wasn’t an option,” said Moore.

Moore stated, many LGBTQ members oftentimes find themselves in uncomfortable positions debating whether or not to disclose their sexuality.

“The fact that I had a conversation with myself, before revealing I had a wife, shows the inner conflict, right?” said Moore. “[It’s] not that you're ashamed, but you don't want to be defined by it.”

To help combat current double standards and increase queer representation in the military, Moore volunteers with the Department of the Air Force Major Barrier Analysis Working Group or DAFBAWG for LGBTQ initiatives team (LIT). 

The LIT team actively works to discover ways to make service in the USAF and Space Force more accommodating for the LGBTQ community as a whole. They focus on improving the quality of life for currently serving LGBTQ members and to detect and eliminate roadblocks for queer service members. 

“The existence of these groups and the buy-in from higher leadership shows the [AF] is truly working to bridge those diversity and inclusion gaps,” said Moore.

By embracing their truth and being present in all aspects of society, LGBTQ members provide a continuous presence that is paramount for change and ultimately equality.

“I wake up every day, dedicate myself at work and treat people the way I would want to be treated and all while being gay,” said Moore. “I represent the LGBTQ community best by living my life proudly and honestly.”