Veterans Museum to hold LGBTQ pride event

Posted at 7:23 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-21 22:23:40-04

On Wednesday, The Veterans Museum will hold a first of its kind LGBTQ pride event.

It comes on the heels of the mass slaughter at a gay nightclub in Orlando, but the event will go on as planned.

Ann Foster, who is a San Diego-based Sailor, will speak at the event.

"Well I'm a lesbian," she said with a smile.

It is something she could not say when she started serving as a member of the LGBTQ community.

"This community has been afraid for a very long time," she explained.

The fire controlman, who runs a weapons system, had to keep her fiancé a secret.

"I think it really hurt her," Foster said.

When "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was lifted, Foster could finally be welcomed home like everyone else, but their rights took time.

"We were so lacking in basic equality that it really kind of started to pissed me off," she added.

She found out the only openly gay sailor on a ship killed himself after being harrassed. So, she started the first officially chartered gay - straight alliance called Gay Lesbian and Supporting Sailors, or GLASS, which has now grown to 30 chapters.

"It still makes me emotional," she said. "And the same feeling is the only other feeling I can think of was a couple weeks ago with Orlando."

It is not the first time she has felt fear.

"That's been my entire life… from the moment that I came out to myself to today, that thought of anytime this could happen," she said.

It will not stop them from recognizing those who fought for freedom while being denied some of their own.

"You can't stop us anymore," she explained. "We're too powerful, we're too proud."

Because she says living in fear is not really living.

"It kills your heart," she said. "I would face a bullet [first]. Sorry, that's quicker."

The event will feature speakers, displays and resources. It runs from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Veterans Museum at Balboa Park. It is free and open to everyone.

The Veterans Museum will not stop with the event. They plan to put a panel in to recognize the contributions of the LGBTQ community.