Nation's First Fulltime Coordinator for LGBTQ Veterans Keynotes USU Events

The nation’s first – and only – fulltime services coordinator for LGBTQ veterans will present a lecture at Utah State University as part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Alumni Lunch Series.

Nathaniel Boehme, a Spanish major and 2007 graduate, currently serves in the coordinator role for the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs. He will speak at 12 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, in the Alumni House. The event, is open to all, but reservations are required.

Boehme also speaks that same day at 1:15 p.m. in the Veteran’s Resource Office Veteran’s Day Celebration. His topic is “Serving in Silence: A Conversation about LGBTQ Veterans and Service Members.” That speech will be in the Sunburst Lounge of the Taggart Student Center.

In addition, a screening at 7 p.m. will feature the film, “Breaking the Silence: Stories from Oregon’s LGBTQ Veterans and Service Members.” It takes place in room 226 of the Huntsman School of Business. Boehme will conduct a Q&A following the film.

The day’s events are co-sponsored by USU’s Social Work Program, Cache Pride Center, USU Veterans Resource Office, Cache Valley Veterans Association and USU’s LBGTQ program.  It’s part of the university’s month-long 100-year commemoration of the Nov. 11, 1918 armistice that ended World War I.

As an advocate for LGTBQ veterans, Boehme “is a dynamic and effective leader,” said Jess Lucero, associate professor of social work and coordinator program coordinator for the masters of social work program.

“With more than 1 million LGBTQ veterans in the United States, it’s critical that veterans’ services be responsive to the needs of LGBTQ veterans and actively dismantle structures and systems that have marginalized LGBTQ service members,” said Lucero. Boehme, she added, “is doing both of these things — working directly with LGBTQ veterans and advocating for more inclusive practices and policies at a larger scale.” 

Boehme served for 17 years in the U.S. Air Force as a third-generation airman. He’s completed several deployments, including one to Iraq, and continues to serve in the Oregon Air National Guard. 

In 2017, he became the first actively serving military member in the Seattle Pride Parade, walking in uniform with command approval. In 2018, he organized the Portland Pride Parade’s first-ever military and veteran contingent.

“We are incredibly fortunate to be able to spend time with and learn from Nathaniel as we celebrate Veteran’s Day,” said  Lucero. “He is such an outstanding example of where a CHaSS degree can lead, and we are incredibly proud of his accomplishments.”

For more information and to RSVP for the CHaSS Alumni Lunch Series, visit https://chass.usu.edu/alumni-lunch-series. Lunch will be served beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Boehme’s keynote for the Veteran’s Resource Office Veteran’s Day Celebration at 1:30 pm in the Sunburst Lounge in the TSC; refreshments will be served beginning at 1 pm.

And finally, you can attend a film screening of “Breaking the Silence” at 7 p.m. in Huntsman Hall 226. View the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=JeBpkFepTnU&feature=youtu.be.


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