Play / pause 20 Years of LGBT+ Freedom

20 Years of LGBT+ Freedom

  • LGBT+ Freedom Network
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


I couldn't imagine being afraid for

someone's entire career for like 20 or 30 years

having to pretend to be something they're not.

A few friends of mine have told me about

their past experiences prior to the ban where

they would have to hide who they were.

I was investigated and almost thrown

out of the military for being gay.

I had two lifes running alongside each other

and it was starting to tear me apart.

People start looking at you and be like oh God,

they don't come and sit with us because

we might be associated with you.

People might think we are.

So, that was the damaging bit more than anything.

I was quite confused myself about who I was.

So, I was quite, as they say in the closet at that point.

I just kept that side of my life hidden away.

It wasn't the nicest feeling in the world.

So I was actually slightly terrified of coming out.

It was always my fear that I'd just sort of be alienated,

completely lose friends and all that.

Since the ban has been lifted,

it's been a massive, massive difference between

who they were then and who they are now

and they've managed to flourish since

they've been able to come out because

they don't have to hide anything anymore.

With coming out, at that point, it was fantastic,

the weight was off my shoulders, I could be who I was,

you know, love the person that I was,

didn't have to try to hide anything.

The way you feel about going to work

with a smile and a spring in your step,

it changes massively and your mental health

increased vastly, instead of using all that

capacity to worry about what

people are gonna think about me,

I already know what everyone thinks,

and that is that they just want me to go on with my job,

and anybody's whose got a negative feeling about it,

that's their problem it aint mine!

And I realize that it wasn't a problem

and that everyone was quite accepting.

It felt amazing.

I came out to my corporal,

again she was absolutely amazing, super supportive,

we sat down we had a chat, it was fantastic.

Part of role modeling and visibility is important.

You can't be what you can't see, I suppose.

I think being visible is very important.

I am completely out and open with all of my new recruits

when they turn up, from day one when they arrive,

I tell them about my sexuality.

It's just part of who I am,

doesn't effect how I do my job.

Why does it even matter?

You know, I know we have to do these things

because people have, you know, I would say I have been

damaged because people, I've nearly lost my job

and you've had to hide and not be your true self

so it mentally damages people, having to live like that.

So, I think this is important,

but at the time it was just, thank God,

I'm not gonna lose my job!

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