HILL AFB, Utah --
June is Pride Month and this month’s first employee spotlight is Senior Airman Ashley Basham, a contracting officer with the Air Force Sustainment Center.
Basham, who is originally from Tucson, Arizona, and still hasn’t gotten used to Utah’s cold weather, is involved with this month’s special observance as the president of the Hill AFB Pride committee. She volunteered for the position when she recognized a need for individuals to have an opportunity to share their pride with others.
“It’s important for people to reach out and spend time with others who are different,” she said. “It helps give a different perspective on the human existence and helps others see that those people who are different from them are good people and not that different from themselves.”
She hopes those who maybe haven’t been as accepting will participate in some of the events so maybe their hearts will be softened and they will see that just because they love differently doesn’t make them different than everyone else.
She also said it’s important to celebrate Pride Month for those in the LGBTQ+ community who feel alone and marginalized, as it provides planned activities where they can find people like themselves and feel a sense of community and belonging.
For Basham, coming out as a lesbian was challenging, primarily because she was still figuring it out herself. She said when she did come out, it took awhile for her family to believe her and they are still coming to terms with it. She said not all families will be accepting, so it is important for those coming out to find a second family -- those people who are ready to accept you for you and who will support you on your journey.
Hill is Basham’s third assignment and she said she has enjoyed her time in the Air Force. She started her career as a sensor operator for remotely piloted aircraft before transitioning to contracting. Her advice to Airmen who are considering enlisting or have recently enlisted is that there’s nothing to be afraid of.
“It’s not as scary as you think,” she said. “There’s always someone more experienced who is there to mentor you and give you advice. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.”
Basham is an avid reader and enjoys book collecting. She also enjoys swimming and rock climbing.