Watch Video Announcement – SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis and OutServe Co-Director Josh Seefried invite supporters of LGBT military equality to learn more about the upcoming combination of the two organizations. Full Equality in the Military has yet to be achieved. The Groups believe joining forces will enhance their ability to fight to secure full equality for LGBT servicemembers. Working together and focusing on the mission by combining resources , they believe , will be more effective.
In October of 2009 an email was sent by an active duty officer to several friends regarding harassment he was receiving under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Within a week, the same friends had launched a website, citizensforrepeal.com which focused on sharing personal stories of people affected by the policy. The same group started an online Facebook group that was growing by several hundred a day.
In March of 2010, Citizens For Repeal (CFR) began to take some of the stories on the road to speak at colleges and high schools regarding the DADT policy. After these experiences, CFR began to realize there was a serious lack of representation of LGBT active duty in the discussion to repeal DADT. In order to combat this, CFR started using hidden social media to connect LGBT active duty.
In June the Denver Post released a letter from CFR criticizing the Pentagon for the lack of including LGBT active duty in the process (www.denverpost.com/commented/ci_15256223?source=commented-news) This letter received national attention and caught the eye of Senator Udall (D-CO). Shortly after, CFR made the front page again of the Denver Post after facilitating active duty to the media to tell their stories. It had then become clear a new national organization was needed to facilitate active duty on the national scene.
In July of 2010, CFR decided to rebrand as OutServe, the underground network of LGBT active duty. OutServe joined the national scene quickly, as it provided LGBT active duty to the media at an unprecedented rate. Within weeks OutServe began working on the Pentagon’s study to repeal DADT as it was the largest facilitator of the RAND study to survey gay servicemembers.
Up to the repeal signing by the President in December, OutServe continued to aggressively push active duty in the media and launching new campaigns such as videos that featured straight service-members deployed speaking on why DADT needed to be repealed. OutServe’s staff was invited to the Presidential signing of the bill in December.
OutServe will continue to grow as a social and professional support organization for LGBT active duty.
In March of 2011 OutServe announce the first publication of its worldwide magazine and in May of 2011 it announced the first ever OutServe Armed Forces Leadership Summit which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada in October 2011.
Members of OUTSERVE have been interviewed for GAY USA the Movie.