TENT seeks trans military veterans for Texas Outserve-SLDN conference

Blumer.Oliver

Oliver Blumer

The Transgender Education Network of Texas is looking for trans veterans to serve on a panel at the 2013 Outserve -SLDN leadership conference.

TENT needs those who can attend the Oct. 25–27 conference in San Antonio and are comfortable telling their stories but is also looking for people who are not comfortable speaking in public to privately share their stories to collect for a “public narrative.”

Although “don’t ask, don’t tell” ended for gay and lesbian service members, trans personnel may still be thrown out of the military.

The Saturday afternoon panel is entitled “Transgender Veterans: Stories to Move the DADT Transgender Service Members Forward.” Those interested in participating should contact Oliver Blumer. Those interested in participating in the public narrative should contact TENT’s Katy Stewart.

Among the other presenters at the conference are the American Military Partner Assocation that has been following the Texas National Guard’s refusal to register same-sex partners of military personnel so they can receive an ID and federal benefits.

The 2013 Outserve-SLDN leadership conference will be held in San Antonio on Oct. 25–27 at the Marriott Rivercenter. Tickets are available online.

—  David Taffet

DADT is finally dead

OutServe, a group for active-duty LGBT military personnel, published an issue of its magazine featuring 101 newly out servicemembers to mark the end of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’

After 18 years and more than 14,000 discharges, “don’t ask, don’t tell” finally ended at 12:01 this morning. For the first time in the nation’s 235-year history, gays and lesbians can serve openly in the U.S. military.

President Barack Obama took to Twitter to mark the end of the ban, and the White House posted video of gay veterans talking about what DADT’s demise means to them. A Pentagon press conference is planned later today.

OutServe, a group for active-duty LGBT military personnel, published a DADT repeal issue of its magazine featuring 101 newly out servicemembers. And one gay servicemember stationed in Germany came out to his father in the middle of the night and posted the emotional clip on YouTube (video below).

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network said 100 events are planned in all 50 states to celebrate the end of DADT, including in Austin/Fort Hood, Dallas, El Paso, Houston and San Antonio. The Dallas celebration is from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Resource Center Dallas.

“Today marks the official end of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and is an historic milestone along the journey to achieving LGBT equality in America’s military,” SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis said in a statement. “Thanks to veterans, active duty, leaders, allies and supporters everywhere, this is a monumental day for our service members and our nation. Indeed, we have taken a tremendous leap forward for LGBT equality in the military.

“Our work is far from done, but today we pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of our patriots as we look forward to a new era of military service — one that honors the contributions of all qualified Americans who have served or who wish to serve,” Sarvis said.

Below are more statements on the end of DADT, as well as video of the gay servicemember coming out to his dad.

—  John Wright

8PM ET: PHB Liveblog with leaders of the LGBT ‘military underground’ org Outserve

UPDATE: Bumped up for the liveblog.

Tonight is the liveblog with the leaders of Outserve, the “underground network of LGBT actively serving military members.”

We are active duty and veteran gay, lesbian, and bisexual soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, and members of the Coast Guard who are currently serving and who have served – some in silence, some with the open support of our comrades – in defense of our nation. We include service men and women who graduated at the top of our classes at the service academies and enlisted at recruitment centers around the country. Some of our members have lost their lives in service to their country.

Ty Walrod and JD Smith will be taking your questions.

Ty Walrod is the civilian co-director of OutServe. He graduated in 2006 from Washburn University. He runs OutServe’s operations in San Francisco where he has worked at Deloitte LLP and Coverity Inc.

JD Smith is the active duty co-director of OutServe. He is a graduate of a U.S. service academy and a current officer in the U.S. armed forces.



The org announced on Monday the creation of several base and regional chapters around the globe. At least ten will be organized by OutServe this week on military bases and regions where the organization has significant presence, including Afghanistan and Iraq. For safety reasons the exact location of the chapters will not be known, except for inside the exclusive network, but 5 chapters will be located overseas and 5 chapters will be located stateside. Although the demand to establish additional chapters is high, OutServe will start with ten this week and expand in the near future.

The goal of each base and regional chapter will be to provide information, resources and social support to actively serving military personnel. “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” places an immense burden upon individuals who think they are alone at their base and these networks will seek to fix that. Each chapter will be charged with growing and expanding their networks and offering support in their specific areas. OutServe Headquarters will be tasked with supporting those networks and serving as the voice of the national organization.

We need to start to empower local military networks to expand and unite them under one banner,” said JD Smith, OutServe’s co-director and active duty officer in the U.S. Armed Forces. He continued, “Informal networks of gay and lesbian military members have existed well before World War I and it’s time to take those networks and start connecting them and giving them more resources.”

The URL for the liveblog is: http://tinyurl.com/PHBOutserve
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Join the Blend’s live chat with OutServe

As we (hopefully) approach Senate action on the DADT repeal compromise, Pam’s House Blend is hosting a live chat tonight with Outserve, the “underground network of LGBT actively serving military members.” Earlier this week, OutServe announced it was creating regional and base chapters to “to provide information, resources and social support to actively serving military personnel.”

Participating in the chat will be Ty Walrod, Co-Director, Civilian Operations and JD Smith, Co-Director, Military Operations.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

OutServe creates regional chapters, announces creation of military base; join Blend liveblog on Wed

This is interesting — news that for obvious reasons can’t be too specific — since Outserve is made up of currently serving gay and lesbian service members. (Outserve):

OutServe, an organization of gay and lesbian military personnel, announced Monday the creation of several base and regional chapters around the globe.  At least ten will be organized by OutServe this week on military bases and regions where the organization has significant presence, including Afghanistan and Iraq. For safety reasons the exact location of the chapters will not be known, except for inside the exclusive network, but 5 chapters will be located overseas and 5 chapters will be located stateside.  Although the demand to establish additional chapters is high, OutServe will start with ten this week and expand in the near future. For information on the group go to www.outserve.org

The goal of each base and regional chapter will be to provide information, resources and social support to actively serving military personnel. “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” places an immense burden upon individuals who think they are alone at their base and these networks will seek to fix that. Each chapter will be charged with growing and expanding their networks and offering support in their specific areas. OutServe Headquarters will be tasked with supporting those networks and serving as the voice of the national organization.

We need to start to empower local military networks to expand and unite them under one banner,” said JD Smith, OutServe’s co-director and active duty officer in the U.S. Armed Forces. He continued,  ”Informal networks of gay and lesbian military members have existed well before World War I and it’s time to take those networks and start connecting them and giving them more resources.”

Under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” it can be difficult for LGBT military personnel to network with one another.  ”Our goal is to create an OutServe-based information superhighway where we can help LGBT military personnel connect with one another both locally and globally more efficiently,” stated Ty Walrod, OutServe’s co-director.  “We want military personnel to know commands that are friendly, commanders which should be addressed with caution, and where to turn for both friendship and support.”

Blenders will get a chance to ask about these initiatives when Smith and Walrod participate in a PHB liveblog on Wednesday at 8PM ET: http://tinyurl.com/PHBOutserve.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright