U.S. Air Force First Lt. Joshua David Seefried has said repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” has made discrimination against gay troops visible.

Seefried is a co-founder of OutServe, the only professional organization for gay and bisexual military personnel on active duty.

On September 20, the day “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” was officially lifted, Seefried shed the alias he had used for several years, J.D. Smith, and the group stopped working underground.

(Related: With DADT gone, gay troops convene in Las Vegas.)

In a Fresh Air interview, Seefried told host Terry Gross that he was nervous at revealing himself as J.D. Smith on September 20.

“I was incredibly nervous going into midnight, but after midnight, I started receiving text messages and phone calls of support – more than I ever had thought was possible to get,” he said.

Seefried added that repeal of the law that banned gay and bisexual troops from serving openly has revealed a number of inequities.

“When 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' existed, everyone was assumed to be straight,” Seefried said. “The discrimination was invisible. So when you were kicking out someone from the military, everyone got to turn an eye to it. But now that there's actually openly gay troops, that's visible. And it's very different how gay troops are being treated than straight troops.”

Because the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) bars the military from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples, married straight members of the military receive higher pay and benefits than their gay counterparts and the military works to keep straight married coupes together with joint assignments.