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The Navy Color Guard presents the flags as the Corps of the Cadets takes the field prior to the Air Force vs. Navy game on Sept. 11, 2021, at Navy. Photo: Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On the 10th anniversary of the end of "don't ask, don't tell," cadets say that campuses are more inclusive, but that more work needs to be done, AP reports.

The big picture: The "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which strictly prohibited gay people from serving openly, is no longer in effect, but homophobic comments still occasionally arise and many transgender students do not feel comfortable coming out, per AP.

  • Studies have found that 15% of LGBTQ veterans attempt suicide, compared with less than 1% for the entire veteran population, per the Washington Post.
  • Advocates say that there is also more work to be done to include people with HIV and nonbinary and intersex people, per AP.

Zoom out: Gays and lesbians were banned from the military until 1993, when the approval of "don't ask, don't tell" allowed them to serve only if they did not acknowledge their sexual orientation.

  • The military has dismissed more than 100,000 service members based on their sexual or gender identities, including 14,000 during "don’t ask, don’t tell," per AP.
  • Congress and former President Barack Obama in late 2010 repealed the law, allowing lesbian, gay and bisexual people to serve openly.

What they're saying: "I commend them,” Marissa Howard, a second-year cadet at the Air Force Academy in Colorado, said of the LGBTQ service members before her. Howard came out as a lesbian a few years ago, per AP.

  • "I feel very included in the environment, and it’s just a good place to feel like my identity is seen and I don’t have to hide who I am here."
  • At the U.S. Naval Academy, the majority of people are accepting of all sexual orientations, said Andre Rascoe, a senior midshipman who is gay.
  • "In my experience, you always have the one or two people who kind of feel uncomfortable either rooming with or being on, like, a sports team with someone who’s in the queer community, but they are anomalies," he said.

The bottom line: "Obviously there’s a lot more room to grow," said Jennifer Dane, chief executive and director of the Modern Military Association of America, an LGBTQ advocacy group.

  • But, Dane, who served in the Air Force from 2010 to 2016, acknowledged the progress that came with the repeal of the policy, per AP.
  • "When it was repealed ... I was finally able to be my authentic self, and it was very empowering," she said.

Go deeper: Biden recognizes 10th anniversary of "don't ask, don't tell" repeal

Go deeper

Arkansas LGBTQ+ Advancement Fund taking applications

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Organizations that provide critical services to the LGBTQ+ community in Arkansas may now apply for grants up to $150,000.

  • Critical services include legal, health, education and advocacy services, as well as other high-demand needs.

What happened: Arkansas LGBTQ+ Advancement Fund was created in June with seed funding of $1 million from the Alice L. Walton Foundation and from Olivia and Tom Walton through the Walton Family Foundation.

Why it matters: A record number of bills targeting trans youth have marginalized transgender people and others identifying as LGBTQ+ who live in the Natural State.

Details: Grants will be made between $25,000 and $150,000. Applicants must be based in Arkansas or have a significant presence in the state.

  • Program grants will support the costs for initiatives, activities or projects that directly support LGBTQ+ Arkansans.
  • Impact grants are for Arkansas-based grassroots organizations led by and serving LGBTQ+ communities with an annual operating budget of $150,000 or less.

The first application deadline is Nov. 22. Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed in following grant rounds.

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. It's triggered widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.

In photos: Drought-ravaged California lashed by major storm

Workers try to divert water into drains as rain pours down on Oct. 24 in Marin City, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A major storm system was pummeling Northern California and parts of the Pacific Northwest with heavy rains overnight.

The big picture: "Atmospheric river" storms, associated with a record-strong "bomb cyclone" offshore from the Pacific Northwest, have brought flooding and mudslides to parts of California that were razed by recent wildfires and in severe drought. It's also caused widespread power outages in California and Washington state.