UPDATED: Full Remarks of Michelle Wolf at the White House Correspondent's Dinner

UPDATED:  The White House Correspondents’ Association just released a statement denouncing her roast:

“Last night’s program was meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honoring civility, great reporting and scholarship winners, not to divide people,” said WHCA president Margaret Talev. “Unfortunately, the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of that mission.”

Michelle Wolf's roast at the White House correspondent's dinner is raising quite the stir.  Michelle Wolf is most known as a comedian and former Daily Show with Trevor Noah correspondent.

President Trump declined to attend for the second year in a row, and Michelle's roast left no one off limits including Kellyanne Conway, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and former press secretary Sean Spicer.  

Catch her full remarks below.  

Here speech has had a lot of reaction on social media including Sean Spicer who tweeted:

You can check out some more of Michelle's work on Amazon here: 

Closing the NYSE

On June 28th I was given the honor to ring in the start of NYC Pride by closing the NYSE.  Ringing the NYSE bell was one items on my bucket list I have wanted to do since I was a child. 

I was given the honor to ring the bell next to other actively serving military members.  Check out the video and photos below. 

Flashback: 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Ends: A Gay Airman Comes Out

This piece originally appeared in the Daily Beast: 

One month ago, under a pseudonym, the author wrote about his experiences serving in the United States Air Force as a gay military member under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Today, on the day the policy officially ends, he reveals his identity.

My name is Josh Seefried. I am a gay first lieutenant in the United States Air Force, and for the past two years I have been known as “JD Smith.”

Under that pseudonym, I cofounded the organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) troops known as OutServe. Using hidden Facebook groups and emails I helped connect more than 4,000 LGBT troops currently serving around the globe, including in Afghanistan and Iraq. At the risk of being fired, using my assumed name I interfaced with media, the Pentagon, and the White House in regard to the policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell."

For nearly two decades, "don't ask, don't tell" forced gay and lesbian troops to lie about who they were in order to serve in the military. Gay troops like me had to worry every single day about losing the careers we loved. That misbegotten era of our military's history is now over. President Obama signed the legislation to repeal DADT last December, and two months ago he and the Pentagon certified that the military was ready for the repeal to take effect. Today, DADT officially died.

Now I and thousands of other gay and lesbian troops can walk into our units free from fear of losing our jobs, our integrity restored. For most of us, the repeal of DADT has been Y2K all over: something hyped, but nothing more. Most soldiers probably knew the date of Sept. 20 more for the season premiere of Glee than for the date DADT finally died. The hype built around the repeal of DADT has created a situation in which there will be many gay troops who are scared to come out of the closet, a fear built upon decades of slandering gay soldiers. We were painted as soldiers who would put fellow soldiers and this nation at risk. Instead of honoring the courageous actions of troops who were gay and lesbian, we were being fired, investigated, and told we did not deserve to be part of this team. Any contribution offered by a gay soldier was overshadowed by his or her sexuality.


Opponents of repeal have long insisted that allowing gays to serve openly would be a disaster to our military, but those days are now over, and leadership from the top has firmly proclaimed that every soldier is to be treated with respect. Now that this policy has ended, leadership is also directly needed from gay troops. Over the past two years of building OutServe I have received thousands of emails from gay and lesbian troops and their families and friends. I will never forget one of the very first messages I received. It was from the friend of a gay soldier who had killed himself just a few months prior. He told me, “JD, thank you for all you are doing to connect gay servicemembers. Maybe if OutServe had existed a few months ago, my friend may not have killed himself.” This message emphasizes the challenges that lie ahead for the military. The challenge now becomes fostering a culture of respect and dignity among the ranks.


This is why I chose to come out on Day 1 after the policy changed. I chose to come out publicly for the thousands of gay military members who have been told they are a risk if they serve in the military openly and honestly. People may say what I'm doing is attention-seeking or not befitting a military officer, but that very mentality shows the prejudice we still harbor when it comes to sexual orientation. Sexual orientation within the military is no longer a political issue; it should be regarded no differently from race, religion, or even something as simple as hair color. The more we show that we are human like everyone else, the more this stigma goes away. This is why for the past few months I have collected the stories of currently serving gay military members. Using their real identities, they relate their experiences under DADT and their hopes for the future. In a few weeks I will be releasing this project, which will share the stories of gay military members using their real names and stories for the first time. I remember reading a book during my time at the Air Force Academy about a gay Air Force officer that inspired me to serve under DADT. I hope this book will do the same for others.

If gay soldiers choose not to come out, we remain invisible, we remain a myth—invisible soldiers with no family, friends, or fellow soldiers who care for them, no chance of holding a high position in military leadership. That invisible picture destroys the hopes of the thousands of gay and lesbian youth who desire to serve their country someday, and erodes the hopes of the currently serving gay service member who believes he would not be respected if he came out. That is the new challenge that lies ahead.

Gay soldiers should find the courage to come out. Even if some members in the unit react negatively, it starts a discussion. Once you start a dialogue, you break down the walls of prejudice. It is up to us currently serving gay soldiers to show leadership, come out, and break down those walls. If we are unwilling to be honest about ourselves to our units, future generations will never experience a future truly free from prejudice.

There also will be future challenges for the military. For the first time since the integration of African-American troops into the U.S. military, there will be inequality among the ranks. Under DADT, it was assumed everyone in the military was straight, and inequality was thus invisible. However, now military members who are gay or lesbian will be treated differently from their heterosexual counterparts. Gay relationships and marriages will not be recognized, and straight service members will witness their gay friends being treated differently. Commanders will be placed in a position where they can't allow gay service members to receive assignments that allow them to remain with the person they love, and people in straight marriages will be paid higher military salaries than those in gay marriages. This will be challenging, and we must react professionally and trust that our leadership will take care of us.

I feel privileged and honored to serve during this time in our nation’s history. This change in policy has not only made our military stronger, it's made America stronger. I’m proud to serve in the United States Air Force and proud of the fact that gay service members can now do their job with their integrity intact.

Interview with ABC on DADT Repeal Day

Below is an interview I did with John Ferrugia.  Most famously known for breaking the Air Force Academy sexual assault scandal in 2003.  John and I had been in touch since my college days and when I came out publicly on the day Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) was repealed, I was honored he could be one of the reporters to interview me. 

Below is a piece he did for Diane Sawyer on ABC: 

A longer version of the interview can be found below.  This interview aired in Colorado locally.

Employment Nondiscrimination Is an LGBT Military Issue, Too

“I don’t know what we’re going to do when I get reassigned. My partner has to find a new job if he wants to come with me. He’s not covered by TRICARE [military health insurance]. Right now he works for a company where he can’t be fired for being gay — but there’s no guarantee hecan find that at my next duty station.”

                                                                                       — Air Force officer

“Don’t get me wrong: I’m thrilled that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is gone. And I don’t feel like I have a right to complain; it’s just that the practical logistics of taking care of a family, which the military insists I don’t have, makes it really hard.”

                                                                                      — Navy petty officer

Earlier this month OutServe members gathered in Washington, D.C. for the first “Capital Summit: Our Families Matter.” The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for a summit focused on gay and lesbian military spouses and partners. In the wake of President Obama’s historic statement in favor of marriage equality — specifically mentioning the service of gay and lesbian soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines — we are optimistic about the future, but there is still a lot of work to do.

Non-government organizations, such as the National Military Family Association, Red Cross, Give an Hour, and Blue Star Families, attended the summit to make their support and resources available to partners and families of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) service members.

But the government offers almost nothing.

Also, last week, an organization committed to banning workplace and career discrimination, Freedom to Work, was on Capitol Hill, fighting for employment nondiscrimination. Specifically, the organization was urging Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or
ENDA, and was advocating for President Obama to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Although ENDA would not affect military personnel, it still is a critical issue to LGBT service members. Even though a majority of LGBT military personnel serve on active duty, many serve in reservist or national guard status, which means their main employment is outside the military,
leaving them vulnerable to being fired simply for being gay. No servicemember who chooses to serve their nation should have to feel like they are at risk for losing their job because of who they are.

Even more vulnerable than the servicemember themselves is the family. The military reassigns its active duty personnel every few years, so a partner who has a job in a company or state with protections can only hope that, upon moving, they can find a new job where they don’t have to hide their same-sex spouse. Federal contractors employ many people on or close to military bases, so our partners — who have to get jobs because our benefits don’t cover them — are eager to land these jobs. Our veterans also want to work for contractors, but because of a lack of LGBT
workplace protections, federal employers can still fire people just because they’re gay or transgender, regardless of how well they do their jobs.

A new study from the Williams Institute shows that an executive order prohibiting workplace discrimination could protect up to  , many of whom are servicemembers outside active duty and their spouses, in dire need of providing for their families.

Integrity and respect for all are core military values. Fairness in employment is an American value. The president’s personal statement on marriage, and the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” are great steps toward those values, toward treating people equally and fairly. But we are not honoring our families if we don’t continue to fight for them, recognize their sacrifices, and provide them with the support — and the jobs — that they need. Let’s make no mistake, this is am LGBT
military issue, too.

This piece originally appeared in the Huffington Post.