The Lone Star Chapter of the American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER) is welcoming LGBT veterans to an evening of dinner, discussion and camaraderie on November 30 at Woodlawn Pointe.
AVER is the oldest and largest LGBT Veteran’s Service Organization in the U.S. and has scores chapters across the country. The Lone Star chapter is based jointly in Austin and San Antonio and is led by Dee Villarrubia, who serves as president.
AVER describes itself as a “a non-profit, non-partisan, chapter-based Veterans Service Organization of active, reserve, and veteran service members dedicated to full and equal rights and equitable treatment for all present and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces, especially the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender current and prior military personnel who have been historically disenfranchised by armed forces policy and discriminatory laws governing military service and benefits.”
“There is a strong bond in the military, a bond that most people do not understand. Veterans stick together,” former national president, Danny Ingram, who resides in San Antonio, says on the group’s website. “Veterans understand each other, but not all straight veterans are willing to extend that understanding and acceptance to LGBT Vets. And the LGBT community has not always been especially welcoming to members of the military or proud Veterans. AVER is the place where the two come together.”
Organizers for the group’s San Antonio event say they want to explore how they can help LGBT veterans. In their invitation, they tell invitees, “We need your input in helping LGBT veterans get the healing and support they need, even if it is just to socialize and talk with other veterans who have shared the same experience serving a military where they may not have been welcome. Please join us for an evening of good food and discussion.”
AVER Lone Star Gathering, Friday, November 30 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Woodlawn Pointe
702 Donaldson Avenue. All LGBT veterans and friends are invited. This is a free event. For more information, email [email protected] or call (210) 860-7562.