Membership Committee

Stephani Patten, Committee Chair
Contact Me


Comes from a military family where her father was in the Marines during the latter part of WWII and the Korea war, a brother in the Navy, and a brother and sister in the Army.

Steven Patten served in the U S Navy during the Vietnam War from 1972 to 1978.

He was trained both as a dental prosthetic tech and corpsman. His assignment during active duty kept him in San Diego due to his exceptional knowledge and abilities related to the dental prosthetics field. He served at the Naval Regional Dental Center located at the 32nd Street Naval Station in San Diego. He associated with a group of 10 others who identified as GLBT while stationed at the Regional Dental Center.

At the end of his active duty tour, he was assigned to a Sea Bee (CBMU-303) unit for his reserve duty tour. The Sea Bee unit was attached to a Fleet Marine Field unit and was on standby for deployment to Vietnam and other “hot spots” around the world. During this time, he honed in his medical knowledge and skills, learned how to build things and how to participate in a unit during war time. There were many a war game involvement at Camp Pendleton.

The “Hughie’s” or “gunships” were his favorite.

He worked his way up to the rank of E-5 (DTP2) or Petty Officer Second Class.

During his reservist tour, he had his first lover (a gay male) from 1975 to 1979.

He was Honorably Discharged in 1978. He was going to re-enlist, desiring to make the Navy a career, but had seconds thoughts because of the political climate related to anyone being found out to be LGBT in the military.

Steven transitioned to Stephani during the early 2000’s. She feels to be one of the transgender faces representing AVER and the inclusion of transgender individuals in the military and veterans.

Stephani has been active with AVER since 2006 having served as secretary and president of the Bataan Chapter of AVER in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was very active with the fight to repeal the DADT policy and continues to advocate for full equality for all LGBT military personnel and veterans. She has participated in media events, conferences, and in the color guard for the local ABQ Pride parade as well as the Veterans Day Parade in Albuquerque.

If you have any questions about Membership or would like to form a Chapter in your area you may contact Stephani at