For the many people who ask about gay life up here in Alaska: Meet 28 year-old David from Bethel. He's Athabaskan, Yupik, versatile, and an identical twin. David came out when he was 17, the same year his dad came out. David's twin just came out recently. Formerly a cook for 180 hungry dudes on an oil rig, David currently works at the B&B his dad and his dad's partner have owned for 10 years. Of Alaska he says, "It’s one of the best places on earth. There’s a lot to do here if you’re optimistic and okay with the weather. The winter is crazy. Last week, it was raining and forty-five degrees, this week it’s snowing." About the gay thing: "Honestly, I know some gay Alaska Native people. Back in the seventeenth century or so, the Russian Orthodox religion was introduced… They weren’t very keen on gay people, but things have changed."
More proof of how things have changed is coming later this month in the form of Navy Lt. Gary Ross, who turns 35 this year. On September 20, 2011, he and his partner Dan (16 years his senior) wed at midnight at the Moose Meadow Lodge in Duxbury, Vermont, to become the first same-sex military couple to legally marry in the US, with the official repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Now his ship, the aptly named USS Anchorage, is coming to town for its official commissioning ceremony and he's reaching out to the city's lgbt organization Identity Inc. to meet the local queer community. Details to follow. The 684' ship, which holds 360 sailors and has a surge capacity of 800, will be open to the public on April 26, 27, 29, and May 3. Gary has written about the pressures of trying to hide their relationship here. For starters, Dan had to create a fake email account and sign all his letters Danielle.