February is LGBT+ History Month and the RAF is celebrating with pride.
We’ve just been announced as a Stonewall Top 100 Employer for another year: a mark of how far we’ve come in supporting our LGBT+ community, especially since the MoD’s ban on allowing personnel to serve openly was lifted. Check out our timeline of RAF LGBT+ milestones:
Members of the RAF’s LGBT+ Freedom Network, which supports personnel in anything from issues at work to advice on adoption, explain why it’s important to recognise LGBT+ History Month.
“I served prior to the lifting of the ban: I was investigated for being a gay female and almost lost my job. Once the ban was lifted I could serve without fear of losing my job, and nowadays the RAF is a good place to be part of the LGBT+ community.
“We recognise LGBT+ History Month because it’s important to show how far we’ve come, although it would be nice to get to the point where it‘s not even discussed. We should just be able to go to work and be happy, and love who we want to love.”
Flt Lt Tam Wakeham
Flight Safety Officer
“I joined up before the ban was lifted. It was a challenge seeing the attitudes of people back then, saying gay people shouldn’t be allowed in the military. Seeing the changes over the years has been quite a journey. The RAF is a great place to be LGBT+ nowadays: I’ve got supportive colleagues; I’ve learnt a lot about myself and I’ve grown in confidence.
“Celebrating LGBT+ History Month is important because it shows as an organisation that the RAF is supportive and inclusive as an employer.”
Cpl Mike Taylor
We’re celebrating our progress and will always strive to progress even further, to ensure all our personnel can serve without discrimination and to the best of their ability.