andres camilo max emerson

A US Army Officer Posed in Uniform with His Boyfriend and Broke the Internet

Responses to Cpt Andres Camilo Hernandez in uniform with his boyfriend Max Emerson range from adoring and encouraging to violent and threatening.

Cpt Andres Camilo Hernandez with boyfriend Max EmersonAndres Camilo

Cpt Andres Camilo Hernandez with boyfriend Max Emerson at the Knights Out Gala 2017

Andres Camilo, an officer in the US Army, took his boyfriend, blogger Max Emerson, to the annual Knights Out gala at West Point. They couldn’t look happier together and just looking at these pictures fills us with a sense of optimism and acceptance.

A number of people reached out today because of negative comments about my relationship in ugly corners of the internet. I ask that we fight those comments with some #positivity and #love. We live in times that will test the progress we have made. Rest assured, from my vantage point, I have seen nothing but professionalism and support from within the military ranks.

The Knights Out gala is a celebration to recognize and honor LGBT leaders who have demonstrated the Knights Out core values of leadership and courage. The ticketed event is open to all people who want to honor LGBT uniformed servicemen.

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Feedback on social media spaces where younger audiences follow Andres and Max, like Instagram and Facebook, has been generally positive. This includes comments and likes from both LGBTQ people and straight allies. Elsewhere on the net, reactions have been nauseating and only show that the fight for acceptance and equality is far from won.

Hello from #gay #army #prom. @andrescamilo___ 📸@matthewsuber

A post shared by Max Emerson (@maxisms) on

Andres Camilo responds to the homophobic comments

In response to the thousands of negative messages across social media, Andres fired back, “A number of people reached out today because of negative comments about my relationship in ugly corners of the internet. I ask that we fight those comments with some #positivity and #love. We live in times that will test the progress we have made. Rest assured, from my vantage point, I have seen nothing but professionalism and support from within the military ranks. Thanks for the support, you guys/gals are the best 100,000 people on Instagram!”

Comments by some veterans and trolls have been negative and even life threatening

Although the tone of a Yahoo article featuring Andres Camilo and boyfriend Max Emerson was positive, the comments below reveal a far darker story. These reactions show how homophobia is alive and kicking in the United States and must be addressed and tackled. Some of the comments were violent and openly stated that they would intend to kill fellow gay soldiers.

stengerj29 “In my days in Vietnam, if that guy was down range from me; his next flight back to the U.S. would start with a body bag.” —James P Stenger

 

Below are some of the comments in response to the Yahoo article on Andres Camilo and Max Emerson.

Yahoo Comments Max Emerson Andres CamiloYahoo Comments Max Emerson Andres Camilo

 

Cpt. Andres Camilo Hernandez is well respected by his soldiers

Despite negative feedback from veterans and anonymous internet trolls, those who are in direct contact with Andres are proud to serve with him. “In my Combat engineer unit, the Commander [Cpt Hernandez]  is respected by the Company for his ability to lead by example,” a soldier in his Army Engineer Company who wished to remain anonymous told OutBuzz. “He is perceived as an experienced officer physically and mentally prepared, loyal to the soldiers he leads. I am honored to salute my commander.”

This is a very different picture than the one fantasized by homophobic trolls like this proud member of society: “I could just see this guy on the battlefield prancing around like a ferry doing an assault and cover tactic screaming like a little girl.”

Knights Out provides resources to West Point LGBT cadets and alumni

Knights Out Gala 2017Joseph Malson

Knights Out Cadets, Officers and Honored Guests at 2017 Gala

Knights Out Cadets, Officers and Honored Guests at 2017 GalaFounded prior to the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” back in 2009, Knights Out has fought for the repeal of DADT and the repeal of the ban for the service of open transgendered people. The organization is a resource for West Point LGBT cadets and alumni, and aims to recognize and honor the service of LGBT US veterans.

“Since the repeal of DADT we’ve been hosting an annual gala at West Point for alumni and invite cadets to attend and share some time with us,” says  First Lieutenant Andrew Perry, a Knights Out Board Member. “We’ve been able to help a lot of alumni reconnect with the community in a way they felt they previously couldn’t.”

Knights Out  provides junior officer mentorship programs, hosts LGBT tail gates at Army events, and provides informal sponsorship to LGBT Officers as they commission and head to new duty stations. The yearly Knights Out gala recognizes and honors leaders in the LGBT community who have demonstrated the Knights Out core values of leadership and courage.

At this year’s gala, Knights Out honored Fiona Dawson of Transmilitary, Ashley Broadway-Mack of the American Military Partners Association, and Hudson Taylor of Athlete Ally.

Knights Out is not an official Department of Defense entity. The organization doesn’t represent the Army or West Point in an official capacity.