On this day in history

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Services ‘gay ban’ lifted – 12 January 2000
Sunday, 12 January 2020 marks two decades since the lifting of the long-standing ban on homosexuals serving in the British Armed Forces.

Until the ban was lifted, anyone found to be homosexual in the UK’s Armed Forces was dishonourably discharged and in some cases had medals removed.

A new book, Fighting With Pride, brings together a collection of personal stories of LGBTQ servicemen and women and features ten accounts of members of our Armed Forces who have lived remarkable lives.

Check out the P&S blog to read a series of posts showcasing excerpts from the book.

Fighting With Pride – available now

Our Price
RRP: £25.00
To mark the twentieth anniversary of the lifting of the British Armed Forces’ ‘gay ban’, this book brings together a selection of LGBTQ servicemen and women who have served in the Armed Forces since the Second World War. Their stories are profoundly moving testaments to their loyalty, their courage on the battlefield, and their unswerving sense of right and wrong.

Included are ten accounts of members of our Armed Forces who have lived remarkable lives. In some cases they were dismissed in disgrace or forced to resign when asked questions about their private lives. Their stories are those of remarkable sacrifice and courage in their units (and in battle), but who were forced to live in secret before their services were removed at the stroke of a pen after being declared ‘no longer required’ or ‘dismissed in disgrace’.

These are the stories of the David and Goliath battle for equality, through every court in the UK and Europe. For others their story is one of remarkable careers at the front line of operations worldwide, with accounts of service in the Second World War, the Falklands War, the Gulf Wars and the war in Afghanistan.

This book celebrates the lives of servicemen and women who have stood tall and taken their place with pride and dignity in the fighting units of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Air Force and the British Army. These are the inspiring stories of people who have created amazing careers and sought and found a welcome denied to so many.

Reviews for Fighting With Pride:
I and many around me took it for granted that we could serve our country. This collection of stories is a humbling reminder of those pioneering people from the LGBT+ communities who had to fight for that very privilege. The inspiring and poignant tales remind us of the highs and lows of serving as an LGBT+ person before the ban was lifted and celebrates the truly inclusive opportunities offered by the Armed Forces today. It has been a remarkable journey and this book is fitting tribute to how far we have come and to all those who made it happen.

Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston CBE ADC, Chief of the Air Staff, Royal Air Force

An overdue account of the righting of an historic wrong; of indomitable spirit; and strength of character. I feel fortunate to have served alongside such courageous individuals in the front line of Britain’s Armed Forces; and to have been one of those who had long argued for equity and justice.

Rear Admiral Roy Clare CBE DL (Commanding Officer, HMS Invincible 1996-97)

This important book records a turning point in LGBT+ equality in the UK and the beginning and end of a remarkable journey for our Armed Forces. Resolute and determined, these are the stories of those whose journeys epitomise what was lost by excluding and what we have gained in equality.

Baroness Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall, 2014-19

The Armed Forces’ LGBT+ journey is remarkable by any analysis, but it is a great testament to the courage and strength of character of some who have shifted the ground upon which one of our nation’s most conservative organisations have stood. Through their perseverance, they have collectively realised a thoroughly normal goal – that each member of the Services should be respected and valued for who they are. Their individual stories are profoundly touching, some of which are captured within this important book, and if they say nothing else to the reader it is that huge mountains can be scaled if you focus on the goal, ground ahead and are unshaken by the scale of the challenge.

Air Marshal Andrew Turner CB CBE MA MSC BA FRAES CCMI Royal Air Force.

These are inspiring personal stories of how LGBT+ service personnel challenged and overturned exclusion and discrimination in the military. They remind us that LGBTs in the Armed Forces were once tasked with defending freedoms that they were themselves denied. But thanks to their resilience, they are at last free and equal. Bravo!

Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner and Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation

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