LGBT+ SOLDIERS AND OFFICERS IN THE ARMY
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender soldiers
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) soldiers serve throughout the Army's corps and regiments playing their part in the country's security.
LGBT+ personnel have the same terms and conditions as everyone else; this includes maternity benefits and pension arrangements for same-sex spouses or civil partners.
The Army welcomes transgender personnel and all who apply to join the Army must meet the same mental and physical entry standard as any other candidate. If you have completed transition you will be treated as an individual of your affirmed gender.
The Army LGBT Forum exists to ensure that all LGBT+ serving personnel can find advice and support with issues that affect their daily lives.
Locker Podcast: Passing Out & Coming Out
What does it mean to be LGBTQ+ today; in the workplace, in society, and in The British Army? How has the world changed to better accommodate and support the people in this group?
In this episode, The Locker Podcast takes a deep dive into the world of LGBTQ+ existence and allyship, inside and outside of The British Army with Radio 1Xtra DJ Remi Burgz and soldier Amy, hosted by the Metro’s Natalie Morris.
Listen to The Locker podcast
MEET SOME OF OUR SOLDIERS AND OFFICERS
... I identify as Bisexual, and play an active role in the Army LGBT Forum as one of three regional reps for the London area. My wife and I take part in various Pride marches throughout the year and we have recently done some fundraising for LGBT charities as well. I started dating women in my late teens, and coming out to my loved ones was a relatively pain free experience. I've always had a great support network around me. My friends and family are loving and loyal, and as I have grown older I have found great support and friendship in my local LGBT communities as well. Playing my part as an LGBT activist is important, because not everyone experiences that same level of support.
... The Army has given me the opportunity to travel around the world with both work and rugby, as well as developing my leadership skills and team work ability which has enabled me to perform well both on and off the field. I am grateful for the challenges I have experienced throughout my Army service whether that be leading a team of soldiers on operations in Afghanistan or representing my country on an international sports field. I have always been open about being gay and my partner has been made very welcome by my colleagues; I think I receive more respect for being open about who I am.
...I made the decision to transition to male in 2015 shortly before I turned 50. This was a difficult time as I had to explain my feelings to my grown-up children and my wife. I’m pleased to have successfully navigated through various problems; not least the fact that my wife identifies as a lesbian.
When I transitioned, I was employed as a Detective Constable working in Child Protection. After coming out to my line manager, I found myself on the receiving end of both good and bad aspects of Kent Police’s diversity/transgender policy. As a result, I gained a position on the Kent Police Diversity Board where I was able to contribute to policy changes that would support and protect the transgender and non-binary officers that followed me.
I’m a Sergeant in the AGC (SPS) and am currently working as the 68 Signal Squadron clerk on an Additional Days Commitment engagement. From October 2018, I will also be a mature student studying for an accountancy degree in the evenings at a local University. I live in Central London and spend as much time as I can with my ever-growing family – I’m currently the proud ‘Grampy’ to 5 grandchildren. I remain passionate about human rights for the LGBT+ community and hope that I’m a good role-model for my family, colleagues and other people I meet.
...Since then the Army has moved on considerably and I am very confident about just being myself and being proud to talk about my home life and my wife. In many ways I think the strong moral code within the Army provides me with a stronger level of support than I imagine that I would receive in a civilian role.
Since I’ve been able to be open about my sexuality, I can honestly say that I have never felt treated differently for being gay. In the Army, what matters to other people is how good I am at my job, not who I choose to go home to at the weekend. I’ve been in the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for 22 years and I’ve loved every minute. I feel challenged, rewarded and empowered to make a difference. I’ve had the privilege of commanding REME soldiers as a Platoon Commander, a Workshop Commander, a Company Commander and as a Battalion Commander.
Now I am the REME Corps Colonel so I am the head of the Corps and I have the opportunity to travel widely to visit REME people around the globe. I’ve also played a lot of sport – from hockey in New Zealand and New York, to sky diving in Germany, and mountain trekking in Kenya and Tanzania.