British Forces at the 2008 Gay Pride March in London

Posted: October 7, 2008 in British Forces, Homosexuality, Military, Soldiers, Uniforms

This lovely photo is by © copyright  Stuart Phoenix on Flickr, without permission.

This is a bit way back, from July this year, but having followed the debate and the problems folks had in the Army, as opposed to RAF and Navy, this is such great news that even after a few months it is still worth posting about.

Army service personnel allowed for the first time to march in uniform at the London Gay Pride March 08.

Last year the Army was not allowed yet, as opposed to the RAF and the Navy, and it seems the chaps and chapesses marched in jeans and red t-shirts instead. Absolutely shocking, that, and I followed the debate, especially on the Proud2serve forum, regarding the permission to march in uniform for the Army. I am glad that 2008 saw a change in policy if not, necessarily, in attitude. But these official steps are what will eventually win hearts and minds over. Institutions as “crusty” and traditional as the Forces have to change from the top down, because from the bottom up or the inside out is most likely not going to work. Thus policies, legislation, rules and regulations are required.

Looking on YouTube it is quite amusing to see the straight-laced marching of service pesonnel, but then they were told by the MOD they weren’t allowed to do “hijinks”.

Photo © copyright by Pat Ricio on Flickr, without permission.

By the way, Mr Marquesate just told me that several service personnel were tasked to go to the London Pride 08, not to march but to cheer and to show the face of the Forces. Apparently those folks were straight and some weren’t comfortable, and I do worry about the notion of “forced cheer”, but alas, I reserve judgement until I know more. Ach well, a soldier has to function even in adversity, aye? 😉 (tongue in cheek!)

Proud2Serve has a lovely photo pool of the 08 march on Flickr.

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