|Born||6 February 1986
|Alma mater||United States Air Force Academy|
|Occupation||Co-Chair, Board of Directors (OutServe-SLDN)
Active Duty Air Force Officer
|Known for||LGBT rights activism|
Josh Seefried is an active duty first lieutenant in the United States Air Force, an LGBT rights activist, and co-chairman on the Board of Directors of OutServe-SLDN which is bills itself as the association of LGBT military. A graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2009, Josh was formerly known by his pseudonym JD Smith during his campaign to end the discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexuals serving openly in the United States military.
Using social networking tools such as Facebook, Seefried organized LGBT active-duty military personnel into an underground association OutServe. To preclude outing himself as gay while serving on active duty in the Air Force, a violation of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy for which he could have been prosecuted and discharged, he assumed the leadership role and interfaced with the media and officials in the Pentagon and the White House using only his pseudonym. He has appeared on CNN, HLN, and MSNBC in shadow; additionally, his comments continue to be regularly sought after by the media as a representation of lesbian, gay, and bisexual actively serving military members. He was an invited guest to the presidential signing of the legislation to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
On October 27, 2012 OutServe and SLDN finalized their combination. Josh Seefried was voted to co-chair of the board of directors, making him the youngest at 26 to co-chair any major LGBT organization.
Book: Our Time
Shortly following the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", Josh worked with several LGBT military men and women to compile a book, "Our Time". The book is a collection of remarkable depth and diversity. We witness the abuse-physical and mental-endured at the hands of fellow soldiers and superiors. We see the hardships faced by their families and partners and feel the pain of the choice between military and self. There are also examples of humanity at its very best: leaders with the courage to support their comrades in the face of tremendous pressure, friendships forged and minds opened, and love that endures the very toughest of odds. "Our Time", marks the end of more than a decade of silence, and gives a voice to the LGBT men and women who served under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” These individuals enlisted knowing that the military would ask them to bury an integral part of themselves and yet joined because of their deep belief that the values of the military were worth the tremendous sacrifice. Our Time is their story.
- ABC NEWS VIDEO 20 SEP 2011
- NPR All Things Considered 20 SEP 2011
- New York Times 20 SEP 2011
- Stars and Stripes 20 SEP 2011
- Times Call 20 SEP 2011
- Washington Blade 20 SEP 2011
- The Daily Beast, 19 SEP 2011
- Leo Shane III (September 20, 2011). "An outspoken anti-DADT activist reveals his identity". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- Chris Geidner (26 July 2010). "OutServe to Launch Effort Representing Active Gay and Lesbian Troops". Metroweekly. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- JD Smith (20 December 2010) (audio/transcript). Active-Duty Gay Officer Reacts To DADT Repeal. Interview with Robert Siegel. All Things Considered. NPR. http://www.npr.org/2010/12/20/132211800/Active-Duty-Gay-Officer-Reacts-To-DADT-Repeal. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- "OutServe and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Vote to Finalize Historic Combination, Elect Board Co-Chairs" (Press release). Zeke Stokes, OutServe-SLDN. Saturday, October 27, 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2012.