With 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' gone, OutServe hosts first conference for gay military personnel on active duty.

The OutServe Armed Forces Leadership Summit taking place in Las Vegas at the New York/New York hotel was made possibly by the September 20 lifting of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the policy which for 18 years prescribed discharged for gay and bisexual service members who did not remain celibate or closeted. More than 14,000 service members were booted out of the military for violating the policy.

The four-day event, which started Thursday, will “provide the LGBT military community a means of building professional networks, sharing best practices and formulating strategies that help build a stronger military community,” according to a brochure.

OutServe claims to have over 3,000 members and 48 chapters around the world. To make the event manageable, registration was capped. At least 215 service members, veterans and civilian allies are expected to attend.

Scheduled workshops cover topics such as Partner and Family Benefits, Servicemembers and the Freedom to Marry and Scriptures and Homosexuality.

Nathaniel Frank, who advocated for the repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” called the event “historic.”

“'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' obviously required people who in many cases needed support, the support of each other and mutual assistance, to remain in the shadows even to one another,” Frank, the author of Unfriendly Fire, told the AP. “So to have a conference like this, where people can step out of the shadows and come together to discuss the things that are important to being the best soldiers they can be, is historic and is essential and is one of the reasons so many people have been advocating for an end to a policy that requires you to hide.”