SAN DIEGO — Nine veterans were inducted into the 2023 Benjamin F. Dillingham, III and Bridget Wilson LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor Thursday.
The wall is located inside the San Diego LGBT Community Center in Hillcrest.
The wall, which began in 2012, honors veterans who served in all branches of the military before, during and after “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
“It reinforces citizenship and that we have a stake in the Constitution just like every other American,” said Veronica Zerrer, co-chair of the LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor.
“Don’t ask, don’t tell” was repealed in 2011. Marine Corps Veteran Moses Beeman recalled living in fear during that time.
“The one galvanizing point was when I was beat,” Beeman said. “I said, ‘I am here, I earned it and you’re gonna have to throw me out, I’m not giving up.’”
Thursday night the center was filled with song, pride, and love as inductees received recognition.
“I joined in 1981 and I did 25 years, so have my name included on there,” said Beeman. “There was a day I couldn’t speak I was gay, let alone my name advertised.”
The LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor recognizes LGBTQ+ veterans with ties to San Diego, who also are engaged in the community, give back to the LGBT community and the City of San Diego.