The British Army is looking to diversify their ranks even more, and LGBT soldiers are at the top of the list.
In an interview with The Telegraph, commander of land forces Lt. General James Everhard points to the emergence of gay soldiers who’ve served openly in the 15 years since the U.K. dropped their version of DADT, opening the minds of their fellow troops in the process.
“Those that were slightly frightened of what they didn’t understand; what they learned from those wars, there they fought alongside gay people, was that you can be homosexual and extremely brave … people came back saying, these guys are part of the team.”
British Army vet James Wharton is perhaps their most famous openly gay soldier. In his memoir Out In The Army, he described being gay bashed during his service as well as multiple other close encounters with threats of violence. For him and other LGBT soldiers, it would seem that the threat of violence is still an issue to be dealt with even as they continue to diversify the ranks.
Though Everhard acknowledges that some gay soldiers are still having issues with their lived experiences, he’s optimistic about the road ahead.
“Like most problems, [fixing] the first 70 per cent is quite easy. It’s closing out the last 30 per cent [which is hard] … and that’s to do with attitudes.”
Well we definitely could’ve told you how awesome gay soldiers are a long time ago, but it’s good to see their service being recognized.
Perhaps Lt. General Everhard can have a word with one of the clowns running for President on our side of the pond who wants to reinstate DADT.
We’re sure he could learn a thing or two from the Brits.
I don’t really think that is a surprise although coming from a high ranking officer, that is news
Of course gay soldiers are helping the army become more effective. Now soldiers don’t have patronize hookers, suffer blue balls and pent up stress because they easy access to hot blow jobs!!!!!!!
I keep saying we are better at most things people…
It would be nice if LT General Everhard (I assume no pun intended) could talk to the politicians in this country that want to reinstate DADT and convince them of their folly but all of these people have proven to be impervious to logic, common sense, documented proof or the opinions of real life soldiers.
I’ve read James Wharton’s book. As far as I remember he was only physically attacked once. The other incident involved a serious threat. What should be made clear is that very particular circumstance applied in each case. The guy who attacked him was another gay soldier who was having difficulty accepting his sexuality. The threat (which Prince Harry helped to defuse) had more to do with rivalry between regiments than with Wharton’s gayness.
Imagine that! Wow see what happens when you let go of fear and ignorance……
“you can be homosexual and extremely brave” No shit!
@Patrick Laney: We even make better serial killers.
@surreal33: u always stupid?
100% that’s right
We use both sides of our brain. There was a time when we were considered Shamanistic in our abilities, due to this. Then haters started to hate. A mighty rock was overturned and Republicans crawled out of the nitrogen-rich soil.
Hey look, a troll coming in to try to minimize the fact that the guy was threatened by 6 soldiers threatening to kick the crap out of him.
Armies have known this all along. Look at history: the Sacred Band of Thebes was made up of 150 pairs of lovers and for over 50 years was the most feared regiment in Ancient Greece. Alexander the Great and his lover Hephaestion conquered the world with an army packed with gay couples and gay couples openly served in the Roman legions and some of them were even canonised by the early Church when they died for the Christian faith. My dad served in Burma during WW2 with openly gay men who were incredibly brave. He always held them in the highest esteem.
@Bob Pattinson: Maybe it will take the homosexual to drive the Muslims out of the UK, eventually. (Let’s hope).
@Cam: Have you read the book? The reference in the article above gives the impression he was under more threat than was actually the case. His immediate mates accepted him from the time he came out. The circumstance that led to the threats in Canada arose from something he said that he himself admits was stupid and, as I said, it had as much to do with inter-regimental rivalry as homophobia. The reason the sergeants of the Welsh Guards threatened him is that they accused him of spreading false rumours (which were actually true) about one of their privates. OK maybe that was a cover for homophobia, who knows. Anyway, thanks partly to Prince Harry’s intervention, the threats were not carried out and the following night James Wharton successfully repaired relations with the Welsh Guardsmen by buying one of them a drink in the mess.
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