Sailors and Royal Marines around the UK have marked 20 years since the lifting of the ban on LGBTQ+ men and women serving in the Royal Navy and other armed forces.
Rainbow flags were raised at key locations across the UK to mark 20 years since since the ban was lifted, including the Royal Navy’s three main naval bases in Portsmouth, Devonport and Faslane. Fleet Air Arm personnel at RNAS Yeovilton and Royal Marines from 43 Commando in Faslane flew the flag to mark the anniversary and, in Portsmouth, the Naval Base Headquarters was floodlit in rainbow colours and banners adorned lamp posts around the base.
Lieutenant Aaron Wilding, who joined the Royal Navy before the ban was lifted, said: “Having joined the Navy before the ban was lifted, I have lived through the transition process and on a personal level I now feel so proud to feel liberated enough to be my true self.
“I spent so many years holding back on who I was but now I feel that being allowed to be myself allows me to give my all. I joined the Royal Navy to serve my country and I have faith that I work for an organisation that stands for honesty, openness and integrity. In order to defend our nation, we need to be representative of what that is.”
Lieutenant Commander Jenny Dunford, from Portsmouth Naval Base, added: “I would highly recommend the armed forces to people of any sexuality and assure them they can be safe in the knowledge that hard work and the ability to bring your whole self to work is the key to reward and our overall operational capability.”
Read more on the Royal Navy Website here:
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