PFLAG meeting w/ Dalan & Brandon, the "military kiss" guys...
the 2 marines made famous by the "kiss" photo (the one that went viral in connection with the end of DADT) were at the Honolulu PFLAG meeting last night. Turns out they have a long history in Hawaii and are personal/family friends with many people at the meeting. That made it much more personal instead of being a public appearance PR kind of thing. A TV station sent a crew because of the celebrity aspect.
The 2 gentlemen were quite charming and personable. They talked about the picture, their experiences before end of DADT, what happened as a result of the end of DADT, and how things are now for them and what they see happening in their surroundings now. Much of it was pretty typical coming out stuff but with a definite slant. And since they knew many people there, once the TV crew left they talked on a much more personal level about themselves, so it was nice to hear candid conversation.
They said the best outcome of their experience was hearing from many people who claim to be teens and high school kids in need of support and somebody to talk with. I say "claim" because on facebook one never really knows who wants to befriend you. And they were also shocked and surprised by who "came out" once DADT was dead, from officers on down to the lowest ranks. They feel the military is making a truly good faith effort on this regard and squelching bigots, even if it is only in the name of professionalism or what's good for the order (they are associated with the marine corps).
Their celebrity will likely fade and they are looking forward to that.