Category Archives: General Info



Re.: Administration issues limitations on Transgender military service



Evan Young, Major US Army Retired, President, TAVA
626 427-5724,

Steve Loomis, LTC, US Army Retired, President, AVER
505 301-1737

Denny Meyer, Public Affairs TAVA/AVER
718 849-5665,

Transgender Ban a Step Backwards

The administration’s issuance of rules essentially banning the service of patriotic Transgender American volunteers, in violation of federal court rulings, flies in the face of American values and world leadership. Transgender American Veterans Association and American Veterans for Equal Rights believe President Harry Truman’s Executive Order integrating our armed forces in 1948, was key to defense of America while providing the world an example of equality and democracy. Since then, women have been integrated and fully equalized in our military, and under President Obama American LGB patriots could serve openly and proudly with distinction and honor.

The new discriminatory transphobic policy introduced by the President reverses our nation’s progress on equality and weakens the abilities and readiness of our armed forces.
While totalitarian nations have always segregated their military forces by tribe, religion, and ethnicity, America’s armed forces have been a light to the world simply by virtue of our example of unified force of uniformed Americans working cohesively regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation and sexual identity.

TAVA and AVER jointly reject and condemn the Administration’s reversal of American progress and leadership on equality, and the consequent weakening of the readiness and ability of our armed forces.

Evan Young, President of TAVA, stated, “Transgender service members have and do proudly serve in our Armed Forces the inception of our militaries. We deploy to remote regions of the world and faithfully serve our nations interest with honor. The administration’s attack on our military is an attack on all American’s values. Standing together, we can fight this bigotry.”

Steve Loomis, President of AVER, stated, “I have had the privilege to serve with transgender service members who were among my very best soldiers. Some of them I knew of their gender identity at the time, others I did not know until much later. They make our military better.”

AVER is the nation’s first LGBT veteran’s service organization advocating equality for all of America’s patriotic veterans and service members.

TAVA is the nation’s Transgender service organization advocating equality for America’s patriotic Transgender veterans and volunteers.


Judge Blocks Trump’s Ban on Transgender Troops in Military

Judge Blocks Trump’s Ban on Transgender Troops in Military

On 30-October-2017, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia found the administration’s justification for the ban on Transgender service, which was set to take effect in March 2018, to be suspect and likely unconstitutional. She ruled that the military’s current policy should remain in place pending review by higher courts.

The balance of power between Executive, Legislative, and Judicial continues to stand the test of time.  American Veterans for Equal Rights applauds Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly for her actions and upholding the constitution of the United States.

We are moving forward. AVER will follow and support this case as it progresses.  Sadly, the policy to bar essential health services to transgender service members still remains.

The administration’s attempt to ban Transgender service is clearly a political ploy for his base at the expense of Transgender service member’s rights.  18 of our allies including England, Canada and Israel have found that Transgender service has no effect on “Mission Readiness”.

As with the campaign to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) American Veterans for Equal Rights along with it’s allies will continue the campaign for Transgender equal rights until all service members can server proudly and openly.

We must not stand by and watch another’s civil rights violated and do nothing, lest we make it more likely our rights will be violated.


AVER is America’s first gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender veterans and active duty service organization.

Contact information:
AVER President: Steve Loomis, LTC, EN, U.S. Army (Retired)

AVER Public Affairs: Denny Meyer, 718 849-5665,




Veterans Proudly serving since Valley Forge

Steve Loomis

LTC, EN, U.S. Army (Retired)

National President

American Veterans for Equal Rights












The Long Determination

This is an Oral History Like No Other!  “The Long Determination” documentary film tells the story and history of gays in the American military as they fought for their rights to serve openly and to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

View the film Trailer Here!





This story of the service of Gay, Lesbian, bisexual and transgender service members is told in their own words.  While many of our heroes interviews are included, the many are LGBT patriots who simply wanted to serve their country.  You can be a part of finishing this important program by donating and sending this important message to your friends and associates.


The Long Determination begins with an early history of men and women who served since the American Revolution and continues honorable, sometimes painful and always proud telling of their personal experiences by members from every military service and their spouses and supporters.

Stories include supporters and events involving the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell with selections of over 40 interviews.

This documentary is produced to Public Broadcasting System standards for national distribution, including Congress and the general public and has already been invited to select film festivals.

Help finish this film project.

Donate now and be recognized for your support!

You can follow us on Facebook at:

Twitter: @TheLongDetermination

To Follow: #TheLongDetermination


Veterans Proudly serving since Valley Forge

Steve Loomis                                                                                                                                              LTC, EN, U.S. Army (Retired)                                                                                                              National President                                                                                                                            American Veterans for Equal Rights                                                                                                       505-301-1737

Website                                                                                                                                 Facebook




Video: Members Respond to Transgender Service

“The President’s unilateral action concerning transgender service members is insulting to some of our most capable service members and disrespectful to the leadership of our military. Without full consultation, a President who never served our country has taken an action that discriminates without factual foundation. Transgender members are already and have always been part of some of our most combat ready units without difficulty for decades and will continue to be in the future. As long as any soldier, sailor, marine, airman or coast guards man has the physical and mental ability, they must be allowed to serve in the defense of our country.”

AVER has created a video expressing their anger and concerns. Click below:

Transgender Fight Back


Pride Month Memories

Pride Month Memories

by Denny Meyer

At the nexus of Memorial Day and the start of Pride month, I began again to think about and remember my own personal gay military heroes who inspired me and must never be forgotten as we celebrate our pride in our service and of who we are.

World War II

PFC Frank Kameny, USA 1925 – 2011

Franklin Kameny, PhD, served in combat in Europe as a teenager in WWII.  He earned a doctorate degree in astronomy at Harvard.  In 1957 he was fired from a government job when he was found to be homosexual.  He spent the next 50 years fighting for gay rights.

Korean Era LTJG Harvey Milk, USN 1930 – 1978

Harvey Milk served in the US Navy aboard a submarine and in San Diego during the Korean War Era. Later, in NYC he worked on Wall St.  He was assassinated after having been the first openly gay elected official in San Francisco and CA, courageously leading the fight for our rights.

Vietnam TechSgt Leonard Matlovich, USAF 1943 – 1988

Leonard Matlovich served 12 sterling years in the Air Force, earning a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his courage and valor in Vietnam.  He sacrificed his career for our freedom when he came out publicly in a letter to the Secretary of the Air Force in 1974.  He was discharged, sued and eventually won.  He died of AIDS in 1988.  His gravestone at the Congressional Cemetery is inscribed, “A Gay Vietnam Veteran.  When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men, and a discharge for loving one.”

Afghanistan CPL Andrew Wilfahrt, USA 1980- 2011

Andrew Wilfahrt sacrificed his freedom, and ultimately his life, in order to give meaning and purpose to his life as a gay American.  He never hid who he was, not from his family, not from his fellow troops.  Killed while on foot patrol outside Kandahar, he is the first ‘known’ gay casualty of Operation Enduring Freedom.

There are so many others, known and unknown, for us to remember in this Pride Month as we celebrate the freedom we have gained and dedicate ourselves to demanding full equality.

My first military hero wasn’t gay.  He was my personal hero long before I’d ever heard of those mentioned above.  His famous words inspired me to volunteer to serve for a decade, despite being gay: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”  Those words still inspire me today.

USN LT John F Kenndy, WWII As Commander of PT 109 in the South Pacific, fought the pain of a back injury and exhaustion to assure the rescue of his marooned crew. 35th President of the United States of America.

-Denny Meyer, fmr SFC USAR