Author of Closets, Combat and Coming Out
Veteran one of 12 arrested at White House DADT protests
New York, NY ? May 20th, 2014 ??Gay Iraq war veteran, author, and LGBT Activist Rob Smith will serve as the Grand Marshal for 2014 Key West Pride during multiple events starting on June 11th and culminating in the Pride Parade on June 15th.
Rob Smith is an openly gay Iraq war veteran and author of the #1* bestselling memoir Closets, Combat and Coming Out: Coming Of Age As A Gay Man In The ?Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell? Army, which is the first Iraq war memoir written by an African-American author.? He served for 5 years in the United States Army as an Infantryman and deployed for different tours in both Kuwait and Iraq, earning the Army Commendation Medal and Combat Infantry Badge in the process. In 2010 he was arrested at the White House with 12 other LGBT activists in protest of the ?Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell? law which barred lesbian, gay, and bisexual soldiers from serving openly, and he was later a guest of President Barack Obama at the ceremony that repealed the law.He has spoken about his activism, veterans? issues, and LGBT rights and empowerment at dozens of college campuses, pride events, and corporate functions across the United States, including Vanderbilt University, Virginia Tech, the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Conference, and the 2014 Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender and Allies College Conference among many more. His work has been seen at CNN.com, The Advocate, The Huffington Post, Queerty.com, Salon.com, and Metro Weekly among many others.
?This is undoubtedly one of the highest honors I?ve ever received, and I can?t wait to continue to spread the word about Closets, Combat and Coming Out as well as to continue to be a voice for veterans and LGBT people,? says Smith.
Key West Pride is to kick off with an all-welcome ?Bow Ties & Bubbly? bash set for 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 11, at the acclaimed Island House Resort at 1129 Fleming St where Smith will also be doing a reading and signing copies of his memoir Closets, Combat and Coming Out: Coming Of Age As A Gay Man In The ?Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell? Army.? Smith will serve as Grand Marshal at the Pride Parade down Duval Street, scheduled for 5 p.m. Sunday, June 15.
For more on Rob Smith and Closets, Combat and Coming Out: Coming Of Age As A Gay Man In The ?Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell? Army visit www.robsmithonline.com
?*The book hit?#1 on Amazon’s?Best Sellers in Gay & Lesbian Biographies?list the first week of release.