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Jo Ann Santangelo ‘s portrait project Proud to Serve features LGBT American service members who served their country in silence or were discharged under the current, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Over the last two years Santangelo visited their homes and documented their stories.
According to Santangelo, roughly 65K gay and lesbian service members currently serve in the armed forces. Since 1994, nearly 14K service members have been discharged for being gay. There are more than one million gay veterans.
Jo Ann Santangelo graduated from the 2008/09 Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program at The International Center of Photography in New York City, where she was awarded The New York Times Foundation Scholarship and interned with photographer Eugene Richards. Her works have been featured in The Guardian, Mother Jones, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Food and Wine, The Guardian, New York Magazine, The Advocate Magazine and Austin Woman. To learn more about Santangelo’s book visit her site.