OutServe ‘Comes Out’ With Chapter Locations
An underground network of active-duty gay and lesbian servicemembers has decided to ‘come out’–with the locations and contact information for its 27 chapters worldwide, that is.
OutServe announced last Monday that it has regional groups in California, Texas, even Afghanistan and Iraq.
OutServe’s co-director told OutQ News that chapters are created based on where they have the biggest population. Using the pseudonym J.D. Smith, he says the organization has about 1300 members and is still growing.
Smith says that by revealing the different chapters, local media will now have access to active-duty LGBT servicemembers like never before. He says he hopes this will raise awareness on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal.
But until the 17-year-old law is actually lifted, Smith says OutServe members will continue to meet in private as a means of social support, even if it comes at a price.
SMITH: “At the end of the day, we all have to choose between, you know, living in isolation anymore and choosing to, you know, somewhat pursue some kind of happiness. Because I mean living in isolation under this policy can take a very heavy toll on someone emotionally. So, I think you have to either choose between that or take a little bit of a risk and, you know, do what we’re doing in our network.”
Smith says he hopes the chapters will also serve as outlets for military personnel looking to interact with gay servicemembers when and if the ban is overturned.