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Pride Month Spotlight: Capt. Matthew O’Neil

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Zachary Heimbuch
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

June is federally recognized as Pride Month. The 17th Training Wing recognizes and celebrates the LGBTQ+ community, its diversity, and how our members make the force stronger. Each week in June the 17th TRW highlights service members of different backgrounds and experiences. This week we highlight Capt. Matthew O’Neil, 17th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron general dentist.

1. What is your job?

As a general dentist here, it is my responsibility to ensure readiness through multidisciplinary dental care. It is my duty to lead and mentor support personnel on how to care for our students and permanent party, allowing our mission to be met.

2. Tell us about your affiliation with the LGBTQ+ Community?

I identify as gay. Coming out has been a gradual and consistent process, my spouse Justin and I were together for seven years before we could come out to our families completely. We have now been in an amazing relationship for more than 11 years.

3. What does Pride Month mean to you?

Pride Month is a time to celebrate the achievements of those who paved the way for the LGBTQ+ community. Hearing others’ stories through the various events this month help further the idea that no matter how much it can feel like we are alone in the world, we are not.

4. What is an aspect of Pride you feel strongly about?

The aspect I feel most strongly about is the LGBTQ+ community involvement. Having everyone join and communicate freely increases our togetherness. It is essential no one feels they are alone, especially during Pride Month.

5. What LGBTQ+ public or historical figure, past or present, inspires you and why?

RuPaul inspires me. He works diligently to expand minds through mainstream media to create an environment where people can express themselves freely.