The brand new issue of OUTSERVE, which is distributed to U.S. military bases across the world, debuts today. The cover is former U.S. Army Lt. Anthony Woods, the Harvard and West Point graduate who was discharged once his sexuality was discovered. Woods led an 81-soldier combat unit in Iraq, earned a Bronze Star and later launched an historic campaign to become the first openly gay Black man elected to Congress.
Read and/or download the magazine HERE ....
The issue features a special multimedia exhibit photographed by Jo Ann Santangelo that features LGBT service members who served their country in silence or were discharged under "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." The issue also features "101 Faces of Courage", the names and faces of troops now serving openly. OUTSERVE founder "JD Smith" also comes out as U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Josh Seefried, a USAF Academy cadet and a 25-year-old finance officer.
The Associated Press reports:
Although he expects only a fraction of the 65,000 gay men and lesbians estimated to be serving in the armed forces to reveal themselves at first, Seefried will not be alone. On Tuesday, his organization's magazine will publish an issue featuring photographs and biographies of him and 100 other gay service members. It will be available online and at Army and Air Force commissaries.
OutServe, which has grown to 4,300 members in more than 40 chapters from Alaska to Iraq, has had an exceptionally aggressive rise since its February 2010 launch. From the start, Seefried and a tech-savvy civilian friend, Ty Walrod, saw its mission as two-fold: to ease the isolation of gay service members and to educate the public about the price of requiring them to serve in silence.
They set up a private Facebook group for gay personnel, starting with a handful of Seefried's friends. Each new recruit was allowed to nominate others for membership — and the group grew. The organization also seized the chance to exercise a unique niche as the voice of gays in the military after Defense Secretary Robert Gates appointed a working group to study the ramifications of a potential repeal.
OUTSERVE says: "The following 101 photos represent the approximately 70,000 currently serving LGBT military personnel. We serve in every country, in every conflict, and in every career field. We serve because we are committed to our country. We serve to protect those we love. We serve because we are dedicated to this self-evident truth — that all men are created equal. This is who we are."
Read and/or download the magazine HERE ...