A Gay Soldier Walks On to the Cover of a Military Magazine


What’s so lovely about a British magazine putting military vet Trooper James Whartonon the cover next to the headline “Pride” isn’t that it brings attention to openly gay soldiers, but that it was the magazine Soldier, the official periodical for the British Army.

One day, the staff at America’s similarly titled Soldiers will be free to make that same editorial decision. (Then again, it took the Brits a full decade from lifting its “straights-only” policy to put a gay guy on the cover. So here’s to you America … in 2019.)


(Adds reader Liam, who sent us the story: The article “inspired me to head down to the recruiting office!!”)

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #britain #military #soldiermagazine stories and more


  • Tallskin

    He’s cute, even though, being an old Hippy, I don’t really like anything to do with the military! But in terms of gay equality this is great!

  • kiltnc


  • Chris

    What’s with these tiny pictures? How am I supposed to click to enlarge and then…

  • Alex

    I was at the SLDN’s “Freedom to Serve Forum” today. It’s mind-boggling how ridiculous DADT is.

  • SD_Dave

    “So here’s to you America … in 2019.”
    Isn’t that a bit presumptuous considering the cowards we have in the Senate as well as the President?

  • TANK

    Nothing advertises one’s goods better than sitting on a tank. Aside from straddling a nuke, it is the ultimate male symbol.

  • Steff

    Perhaps most tellingly, senior officers from the US have been quietly holding talks with their British counterparts on how America can change its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy which has seen more than 12,500 members discharged since its inception 16 years ago.

    What’s that about?

  • Cam

    And to all the poeple saying that the U.S. needs years to prepare the army for any change in DADT here is an excerpt from a British article on this soldier.

    “Overnight service personnel who had been expected to inform on anyone they suspected of being gay were told they must now respect the rights of their colleagues. Men and women who had lived in fear of being followed by the SIB (Special Investigation Branch), enduring degrading interrogations and searches, were told they could freely talk of their sexual orientation. In the army alone, 298 personnel had been discharged in 1999 for their sexuality.

    “The thought of two men dancing at a mess function was more than some people could cope with,” explained one officer. “They thought they would get raped in their beds.”
    But the predictions proved wrong and the military entered its brave new world with surprising ease. A confidential review two years later across all three services found that most officers and junior ranks, particularly among the younger ones, had accepted the lifting of the ban without much comment. It was only amongst the older Senior Non-Commissioned and Warrant Officers that it had met significant resistance.
    With the introduction of civil partnerships in 2005, married quarters were renamed Service Family Accommodation and homosexual couples were given the same priority as their heterosexual counterparts alongside pension and compensation rights.
    Apart from simply accepting the change, the last few years has seen a military hierarchy choosing to be vocal and visible on the subject, advertising in the gay press for recruits and seeking to openly connect with a community that still treats it with some suspicion.
    In 2005, the Royal Navy joined the Stonewall diversity champions programme for employers, followed 12 months later by the RAF and finally last year, by the army. In similar sequence, each service has allowed its soldiers to march (to great applause) at the Gay Pride event. Several personnel are now listed in the Independent’s Pink List of the most influential gay and lesbian people in Britain.
    Among them is Mark Abrahams, the RAF’s most senior serving openly gay officer who was promoted to Wing Commander this month. He said: “The RAF’s attitude towards LGBT matters has changed immensely over the last five to six years. People are judged and valued on their ability to do their job and the contribution they make to the team effort. Ultimately, when they can be themselves, people produce their best.”

Comments are closed.