The Army supports Stonewall’s new campaign to ‘Come Out for LGBT’

The Army supports Stonewall’s new campaign to ‘Come Out for LGBT’

We have come a long way in the fight for LGBT rights in the last 25 years. But new research from LGBT charity Stonewall shows just how far we have to go. The number of lesbian, gay or bisexual people who have experienced a hate crime has gone up by 78% over the last five years. And 2 in 5 trans people have experienced hate crime in the last 12 months. The fight for equality is far from over.

That’s the Army LGBT Forum has joined the Army’s LGBT Champion, Lieutenant General Patrick Sanders CBE DSO, in supporting Stonewall’s new campaign: Come Out for LGBT. We want everyone in Britain to join us and show visible support for LGBT equality in lots of different ways: from sharing positive messages on social media, to knowing how to intervene to stop discrimination, to making your school or workplace more inclusive.

Joining General Sanders, the Forum’s Secretary, Sgt Lowe-Barrow spoke to Stonewall:

“I joined the Army with a group of people from St Vincent, and early on an issue with my sexuality got me down and I thought about leaving. My Company Sergeant Major pulled me aside to have a word – she said she wouldn’t stand by and let me throw it all away. She became my polaris – whenever I’ve thought ‘Do I want to be here?’ I always think of her, and of so many people who have sacrificed so much for me to be here. I can’t throw that away.

Traditionally the Army was straight and male – it looked pretty homogenous from the outside. But letting people express their individuality – whether that’s being trans, black, Asian – allows people to be as productive as possible. It means you don’t have to worry about fitting in or conforming to a stereotype that isn’t you. You bring lived experience into the Army with you. I didn’t think I was a natural fit for the Army, but I gave it a go, and I’m still here 16 years on. If you think an organisation doesn’t reflect who you are, you can only change it from the inside. The Army are a brilliant employer – all are welcome.

Silence in the face of inequality is tacit acceptance. Support of equality needs to be part of our everyday experience. I hope this campaign reaches a broad range of people. But as a black gay man, I hope it helps a lot more black and ethnic minority personnel to live a true life, unencumbered by prejudice.”

We all have a part to play in creating a world where everyone, everywhere can be themselves. As General Sanders has said, in the Army we’re almost there, but almost shouldn’t be good enough.

For more information on the campaign go to, sign the pledge, and find out more.

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