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Humans of Scott: A Beacon of Support for LGBTQ+ Military Personnel

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class De'Quan Simmons
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

One Team Scott mental health worker is taking steps each day to ensure LGBTQ+ service members have the needed resources to ensure their mental health is in a good place. 

Senior Airman De’Nair Adams, 375th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron mental health services specialist, helps support service members' mental health by performing initial patient assessments, administering and scoring psychological tests, explaining mental health services, providing combat and disaster care, and preparing medical and administrative reports. 

Adams not only supports mental health across Team Scott, but he also understands the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ+ service members, who are disproportionately affected by mental health issues, being a bisexual man.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, LGBTQ+ active-duty service members are nine times more likely to feel down, depressed, or hopeless nearly every day compared to their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts, with rates of 55% and 6%, respectively. Similarly, 22% of LGBTQ+ National Guard and Reserve personnel report these feelings, compared to 6% of non-LGBTQ+ personnel.

Recognizing these challenges, Adams advocates for strong support systems for any active duty service member in the LGBTQ+ community who is struggling with mental health, and those outside of the community as well. 

“When I see those members, I preach to them about a support system,” said Adams, a Detriot native. “A lot of people are hell-bent on not needing anyone; Especially on that journey of self-discovery, you need a support system. In terms of mental health, don't ever feel like mental health is a weak thing because not a lot of us have a lot of things that we want to be able to work through.”

Through his courage, Adams challenges societal norms that alienate LGBTQ+ individuals, emphasizing the fact that we are all humans at the end of the day. 

“In this world, we are told that if you are part of this community, you're not normal. I ask them, ‘You still bleed red, right?',” said Adams.

Adams has been a member of Team Scott for a little over a year. Growing up, he never felt able to express himself or his identity. The Air Force allowed him to find himself and embrace his identity by providing a supportive and diverse environment. 

“It wasn’t until I joined the military that I was able to try and find myself,” said Adams, reflecting on his journey of self-discovery. “That’s when I realized what Pride Month was; I finally felt accepted. I finally felt like I could be me.”