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My Coast Guard
Commentary | June 24, 2024

Coast Guard Spectrum - Living Our Truth

By CG Spectrum

Happy Pride Month!  

LGBTQ+ pride month is celebrated each year in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall uprising in Manhattan, a critical tipping point in LGBTQ+ rights in America. This June, the Coast Guard commemorates Pride Month with the theme, “Living Our Truth”, celebrating the diverse spectrum of identities within the LGBTQ+ community and acknowledging the ongoing work needed to secure the liberty entitled to every American. Coast Guard Spectrum Chapters across the country are hosting events throughout the month to celebrate!  

Who is Coast Guard Spectrum? 

Established in 2019, Coast Guard Spectrum is a multicultural LGBTQ+ affinity group and an official affiliate of the US Coast Guard. From Spectrum’s mission statement: “Coast Guard Spectrum aims to create a welcoming, supportive, and affirming community centered on Coast Guard Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual, and Queer employees, Auxiliarists, families, veterans, and allies.” Spectrum is currently composed of 13 chapters nationwide, working to create welcoming and affirming workplaces where all people can thrive as their authentic selves. 

Spectrum Organization 

Spectrum is led by a National Operations Committee (NOC), supplemented by senior advisors and its founding members. Below, we highlight one member from each of the branches who represent the diversity and commitment within our affinity group.  

Lt. Cmdr. Angel Kwok (she/her), International Port Security Liaison Officer, Activities Europe, Netherlands. While her daytime duties include traveling throughout the world to improve our global maritime system, Lt. Cmdr. Kwok champions multiple efforts to increase visibility of the LGBTQ+ challenges and improving diversity and inclusion within our service.  

Capt. Trey Wirth (he/him), Chief, Office of Marine Environmental Response Policy, US Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington D.C. Capt. Wirth serves as the Senior Advisor to CG Spectrum and works closely with Coast Guard leadership to influence policy changes. He has made significant impacts regarding transgender policy for active duty and Auxiliary, in addition to identifying gaps in recruitment.   

Dr. Alexander Waid (he/him), Department of Humanities, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut. Dr. Waid is one of the founding members of CG Spectrum and continues to play a vital role in creating an inclusive environment for our organization. This is especially important at our accession points such as the CG Academy. Last year, Dr. Waid spoke at the Atlantic Area Pride celebration and currently serves as the co-advisor to CGA Spectrum. 

What is Spectrum working on? 

CG Spectrum has seen rapid growth since its founding in 2019. This month, we will be cutting the ribbon for two new chapters in Juneau, Alaska, and Washington D.C., bringing our total count to 15 chapters nationwide! 

These chapters are active year-round and aim to provide training, support, and mentorship for the Coast Guard’s LGBTQ+ community and allies. The chapters are especially busy during June in observance of Pride Month. Many chapters participate in their local Pride celebrations and parades, and host a myriad of events including educational socials that encourage learning and discussion of LGBTQ+ challenges.  

Why is inclusion important? 

Respect is one of the Coast Guard’s core values, and we cannot uphold this value without respecting our LGBTQ+ shipmates. All of our shipmates deserve to feel like they belong in the Coast Guard family, and every one of us plays a vital role in upholding a strong service culture where every person can live their truth. 

How to be an ally 

CG Spectrum welcomes allies, and we would love your participation in our local chapters! Being an ally does not have to include grand gestures, in fact, subtle actions are often the most valued. Something as small as including your pronouns in your email signature communicates that you are respectful of individuals with diverse gender identities and committed to an inclusive work environment. Together, we can help all our shipmates feel accepted and included in a more welcoming Coast Guard family.  

If you’d like to learn more or get involved in your local chapter, reach out to the CG Spectrum National Committee at