In The South

Royal British Legion launches new branch for LGBTQ+ communities

Besi Besemar January 11, 2019

The Legion’s new branch opens 19 years since the UK Government lifted the ban on lesbians, gay men and bi people serving in the Armed Forces.

Founding members of the new LGBTQ+ branch
Founding members of the new LGBTQ+ branch

AS the anniversary of the end of the ban on LGBTQ people serving in the Forces is marked, the Legion is encouraging LGBTQ+ veterans, those currently serving and civilians, many of whom have previously been stigmatised within the military to join the new national branch.

The new branch will recognise and remember the contribution of the LGBTQ+ community to the British Armed Forces, and raise awareness of the Legion services accessible to the currently under-represented group. It is hoped that the new branch will act as a safe space for people from across the LGBTQ+ community to share experiences and support the work of the Legion.

With no other veteran organisations specifically for the LGBTQ+ community, the Legion hopes the new branch will also help tackle isolation and build connections in our communities. Branch members will receive regular news and updates, and will be encouraged to network with other members in their local areas.

Emma Miller-McCaffrey
Emma Miller-McCaffrey

Emma Miller-McCaffrey one of the founding members of the LGBTQ+ & Allies branch, said: “There are many people who historically have not been treated appropriately by the military, but that has now changed. I am proud to be married to my wife – a serving member of the Royal Navy, and I am proud of who I am as a gay woman. Becoming a member of the Legion’s LGBTQ branch allows me to be all of those things without judgement.  It’s great to see the Legion reminding people that they are here to support all who served, regardless of Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation.”

Emma Cannings, Director of Membership at The Royal British Legion added: “We know that people who identify as LGBT+ have historically been marginalised within the Armed Forces community, and as a result haven’t come forward for the help and support they’re entitled to. We hope that this new branch will bring the LGBT+ and Armed Forces communities together, to commemorate the sacrifices made by our LGBT+ veterans and serving personnel and ensure that our services are accessible to all those who need them.”

The Branch is open to veterans, those currently serving and civilians, from across the UK.

To become a member, click here: