Pride Special Observance: Senior Airman Jethro Ignacio

  • Published
  • By Capt Lilia Calvillo
  • 924th Fighter Group

Hello, my name is Senior Airman Jethro Ignacio, from the 357 Fighter Generation Squadron/ 924 Total Force Integration Aircraft Maintenance Unit, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base! Being a gay Asian American was a frightening experience for me, especially when initially going into the Air Force. I was always concerned about how people would view and treat me when they were aware of my sexuality. Most of the time I would keep it to myself, making sure I was in an environment where I felt safe and comfortable to fully come out to the people around me. It wasn’t until I was assigned to the 355 Maintenance Group/ 357 FGS/ 924 TFI AMU where I did get that feeling and trust from those around me to just be myself. It was an amazing period of time that still continues today where I can just be myself around people in an ever-changing Air Force.

In terms of my Filipino culture, “family” is an enormous matter. The 924 TFI AMU really showed me what family was when I started to settle in. There are people here that I see as my own brothers, sisters, father-figures, and mentors. I’m from Florida; I live in Arizona, and my family lives on the other side of the country. There are many days where I miss them immensely (missed birthdays, holidays, etc.), but with the people & teammates here in AZ, that I see and feel as my own family, it brings that source of comfort and reminds me that family isn’t always the people you grew up with, but also the people who love and care for who you are at your core. That in itself is a great feeling, not only to support that aspect of my culture, but also to support one of my virtues in life.