Kandahar, Afghanistan LGBT Pride – an official DOD video

I’m not sure which part of this video to find more astounding. The fact that anyone celebrated LGBT (aka Gay) Pride in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

The fact that it was US military personnel doing it.

Or the fact that the video, “Kandahar LGBT Pride,” is popping up on the official Department of Defense YouTube channel.

Extra points for YouTube’s cute little rainbow heart in the upper left corner.

This is huge on so many levels, including the international level. I doubt the Taliban is loving this video (though I wonder if the current Afghan regime is either).

Kudos, and way cool.

Kandahar-LGBT-pride-big

Here’s the video. Just wow.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Jake Orlando

    A tear just fell. I can remember sitting at Fort Lewis, Washington five years ago almost to the day waiting for my DADT discharge paperwork, shaking and misty-eyed. Then I remember one year and two days ago, rushing through the Military Entrance Processing Station in Los Angeles eager to resume my military career. Now I see this. I’m truly proud of our country for the progress it’s made. We’re not done yet, but hell the times have changed…the changes we’ve made are tangible and account for a lot.

  • workforlivn

    After gays get health-insurance as partners, are able to get married, etc, that will pretty much cover it. They’ll be equal in the same fashion as blacks achieved equality. I’m fine with that. But I know what’s next. The intrinsic causes of a dissimilar outcome for blacks have surfaced and the answer seems to be more laws, more jiggering rules for employment, health insurance. The underlying pathologies of being a black person in America offer plenty of explanation as to their outcomes.

    So what now for gays? I’ve just buried a nephew that dies of AIDS. No discrimination caused that disease. And as I watch the healthy gay family members that will die childless, I know from doing genealogy that they look to future generations like: the suicides, the spinster/bachelor, infant death. They become dead ends in the tree of life. And I know from watching – the regret later in life they experience.

    These are not things that upset me; they are the explanation of outcomes. When I see the near constant howling of ‘victim’ rights groups I know that after the wave-upon-wave of outrage dies, they will have to look inside for their answers. And the rest of society will continue doing what we do.

  • Iban4yesu

    in this country there used to be a thing called public education which the war industry helped to gut out. Job training should be party of the education system like some other countries.But no matter, the devastation of public education helps create the impoverished mass from which these cannon fodders and desperate killas are recruited with such an ease.Also, the convenient flagwaving doesn’t hurt either.

  • Bill_Perdue

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFW39_JzkgI

    There are a total of 3344 coalition and over US deaths in Afghanistan and both escalated dramatically when Obama took office. To date there are 17674 wounded which are not broken down between debilitating and recoverable wounds but the numbers in Iraq were about half and half. http://icasualties.org/

    “Shocking though those figures are, they are as nothing compared with the statistic to which Busbee technically belongs. He had retired himself from the army just two months before he died, and so is officially recorded at death as a veteran – one of an astonishing 6,500 former military personnel who killed themselves in 2012, roughly equivalent to one every 80 minutes.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/01/us-military-suicide-epidemic-veteran

    The idea of being in the military murder machine whose only goal is to terrorize civilians, almost all workers and farmers, utilizing mass murder or of defending military service as some kind of boon for working class people is treason to the antiwar movement, the GLBT communities and workers.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Obama and the Clintons changed to get donations and votes from those easily fooled. But they and the Democrats still refuse pass ENDA or repeal DOMA and only try when there’s not chance of it passing. It’s a scam that works for those easily fooled.

    “Or would you rather hold grudges for life?” Skip the psychobabble. Try to be political, however difficult that is.

  • S1AMER

    Yep, our recent wars are repugnant.

    But military service is the way a great number of young people, particularly poorer young people, acquire the skills that help them get jobs, and get the money for college. These opportunities have been opened to gay and lesbian Americans since DADT went away, and now these gay and lesbians Americans can enjoy family health care and housing benefits just like their straight counterparts. However much you hate America’s military misadventures, would you at least be willing to acknowledge this? Or not?

  • S1AMER

    Times change, people change. Haven’t you ever noticed that? Or would you rather hold grudges for life?

  • Bill_Perdue

    The idea of LGBT folks and anyone being part of the Pentagon murder machine that committed genocide in Vietnam and Iraq and committed, or is committing, mass murder against civilians in dozens of countries since Vietnam is repugnant.

    No one should be part of the murder machine.

  • Bill_Perdue

    And like Obama when he said ‘gawd’s in the mix’ and the Clintons who oppose repeal of section two of DOMA and all the Democrats and Republicans in Congress who voted overwhelmingly for DOMA, still refuse to repeal it and who still refuse to pass ENDA and did so even when they had more than enough votes to do so.

  • cole3244

    we are heading in the direction of that germany you mention more every day.

  • UncleBucky

    Yes, this goes from LGBT issues to treating “the enemy” as we have always been taught to do.

    Yes, an enemy combatant who has not surrendered must be neutralized. Neutralizing an enemy combatant can range from disarming him/her (in essence the enemy has surrendered) to simply killing that person (the enemy refuses to surrender).

    But what about all the points in between and then after the surrender or incapacitation of the enemy? What about the enemy’s family who is resentful and outraged? What about the enemy’s friends or neighbours? Simply machine-gunning them is not the way. These people, unless they become combatants/defenders of the enemy we neutralized, are our EQUALS until proven otherwise. Naturally, we have had experience of locals who cannot be determined as peaceful or violent. It is difficult, but we cannot regard them as objects or less. Likewise in peaceful situations, on base or off base (Okinawa, Japan, Germany, Guantanamo, and all the other places where are troops are stationed or billeted), the locals are our EQUALS.

    It is difficult because we are the USA, not Nazi Germany, committing ethnic cleansing all over the place. WE ARE THE USA.

    And every time a soldier, marine, sailor, etc. does not treat a non-enemy as an EQUAL, it makes it more difficult.

  • emjayay

    At first I thought this was about a gay parade etc. in Afghanistan, but it’s obviously not. The servicepeople may be in Afghanistan, but this is about them, not anything going on there. At this point, given the apparent real acceptance of gays in the military (although I’m sure there’s still quite a distance to go) I’m thinking Obama’s frustrating foot dragging and military poll taking and all that stuff that dragged on forever before ending DADT was a maybe actually good idea. It gave them time to get used to the idea and vent along the way before it actually happened.

  • emjayay

    And so many people even here fighting tooth and nail against gay equality. Including for god’s sale not just many in Congress but the effing blowhard governor of New Jersey, home to corporations like Goldman with thousands of employees on both sides of the Hudson, and who knows how many commuters working in NYC.

  • cole3244

    fantastic, now lets start treating people all over the world with the same respect we expect at home regardless of what or who they are, wouldn’t that be a hoot.

  • S1AMER

    Today, only 44 years after Stonewall, only 40 years since we ceased being insane, only 10 years since we ceased being felons in several states, less than two years after DADT ended, only two days since Sect. 3 of DOMA was struck down, I’m still suffering a bit of whiplash from all the wonderful progress we’ve had in my lifetime.

    But for all the big events, it may be the little things — like this fairly matter-of-fact Pentagon video from Kandahar — that tells the true story of how so much of our country has adapted so rapidly

    We’ve effectively won the war, no doubt about that. But there are still so very many more battles to be fought and won in so many places. Our enemies may be dwindling in number, but that most definitely doesn’t mean their ferocity won’t actually increase as they see their power declining and our equality growing. But, on Wednesday, we ended the beginning of our march to equality and began the march to the finish line.

    And, meanwhile, there are gay and lesbian soldiers and sailors and airmen, all celebrating pride just like the rest of us. And, if they’re in Kandahar, they know they will be coming home to a better country.

    Thanks, Pentagon. And thanks, CinC.

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