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Being Gay and Joining the RAF or NAvy watch

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    Would it be ok for a gay guy like me to join the RAF or NAVY, would I fit in? Or would life be too hard for me? I'm a fairly normal guy, would love to serve my country, but am worried that I wouldn't fit in or make friends.
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    Yes, it's fine. No one will think any different of you.

    Read this: http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/Ab...rmedForces.htm
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    I would say you should have no problems as the RAF are up on all the equal opportunities things like females, ethnic minorities and homosexuals - as they should be, as I think the colour of skin, etc etc, has no baring on you ability to do a job.

    I will say, however, I think there will be a minute, very minute, percentage of people who manage to get into the RAF by keeping the opinions to themselves but are racist/homophobic/sexist, and this may cause difficultly – but with the 99% of the service agreeing with the equal opportunities decisions, I’m sure these people will soon be shot down, but with no actual service to my name, I could be wrong.
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    hmmm a tricky one. on the one hand id say that it doesnt happen in the forces, but just from being in school and work it is probably more common than you think, perhaps they think society dont accept them? or its not the 'done thing'

    as a matter of fact i was reading about the american take on the gay 'issue' and i use inverted commas because there really isnt one! take a look at this in wikipedia (and yes blackhawk i know i dont usually cite references from online sources lol) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t...C_don%27t_tell basically its the US policy and i think it is a pretty good approach.

    I believe the USA have allowed gay people to be a part of it since 1993 and the UK since 2000 so ur fine mate.

    id like to thank yourself for bringing this vital topic of conversation to the board.

    let me know what u think,

    just_lad
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    Thanks for all your advice and support everyone, I'm a bit more confident now that I should seriously look into a career in the armed forces, and not let me being gay prevent me from doing something I've always wanted to do. As for the 'Don't Ask, Don't' Tell issue... don't think I'd escape that one. lol. I'm no queen, but my voice tends to give the game away. I still play lots of sport, and keep fit and will hopefully get even fitter when I get to uni, where there is an accessible gym. Anyway, all your advice is much appreciated.

    Ash
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    I'm in the forces (RAF) and recently someone has said they are gay. I said "oh really" and carried on drinking my coffee.
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    To be honest, i'd take the same frame of mind as pmoc_2001. I'm FAR from homophobic and to be honest, its pretty cool that people can admit to it without feeling bad about themselves and you shouldn't! A friend of mine came out and we were like "thats cool" and haven't treated him any differently and thats how it should be in any of the forces, whether people can look past sexuality and to the person they are is a different question, those who can't have got a lot of growing up to do.
    Steve
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    To be honest, all of the points made above are valid, however you will come across a minority that will make comments or giggles and you may find that if you join the wrong unit with the wrong type of person in it you may be made to feel uncomfortable. That happens in any walk of life though, not just the forces. The RAF does have very robust procedures to deal with harassment if you have the courage to use them, should the need arise, but the chances are that most personnel are not that prejudiced in this day and age and those that are would be too afraid to air their bile at you as it is drummed into them as totally unnacceptable from day one of training.

    For the record, i have not worked with any gay men during my time in the RAF, nor have been aware of any. I have met and worked with plenty of gay women though and they are totally accepted by everyone.
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    There was an openly gay guy on one of the UASs at the same time as me. He had no problems whatsoever.
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    There should be no big deal about anyone who is gay joining the forces these days.

    The British Armed Forces policy has been - "there is no discrimation on the grounds of sexual orientation, and any individuals orientation is a private matter "-- since 2000.

    Interestingly one of the posts above refererd to the Us "Dont Ask dont Tell" gay policy. This is actually completely different from the British policy. In the US military openly out gays are dismissed form the forces. There is a big push to get this changed , but hundreds of gays are still getting discharged every year.

    The Royal Navy and RAF are both pretty cool about the whoe gay thing. A poster above said he had never served with a gay person. I think what he means is he hasn't served with someone he knows to be gay. The UK government figure is that about 6% of the workforce is gay and this is generally accepted by the three armed services as a rough working figure ( I was at the last tri service LGBT conference where this was discussed) . So it's pretty likely that whatever bit of the armed forces you are in there will be a few gay people about - although they might be quite discrete about it.

    The three services took part in this years London gay pride march. The Navy were in uniform and led the parade.

    There are now several fully registered "civil partners" in the Uk armed forces, living in married quarters and getting the same benefits as any other "married" couple.

    There are still the odd cases of homophobic behaviour in the forces, but surprisingly few. I would suggest that there are cases of homophobic behaviour in most walks of life , its just more apparent when it occurs in the forces when everyone lives together. The forces have very good procedures for dealing with unaceptable behaviour - whether its homophobic, racist or any other type of bullying.

    I think most gay people in the forces would suggest that life may be a bit harder for gay guys in some front line infantry units and the like, and in some ways the Army is a bit behind the other two services in being really signed onto gay friendly policies in reality. You are saying you want to join the Navy or RAF so thats not an issue.

    At the end of the day if you are good fun to have around, work hard and are good at your job in the forces you will generally be accepted by everyone. On the other hand people who dont pull their weight and then try and use some issue like sex, sexuality or race as an issue are not going to be popular.

    There is a web site for people interested in gay issues affecting the forces www.proud2serve.net

    There are lots of serving gay people registered on the forums who will be very pleased to give you some detailed information.

    Hope that helps.
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    Ha ha,

    If you are of the charactor where you have to go around and announce what your preferences are, you will be a target. Most poeple get through by keeping their mouths shut and not rocking the boat. If you were to pitch up at a unit/section/squadron and announce that you are gay, you can guarantee on getting a hard time. Not for being gay but for being a gobby new lad. Its about integrating into a close working team that requires people to be able to get on with one another.
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    There's crewroom banter and downright bullying. The latter is not tolerated.
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    Quite right, bullying is not tolerated, and there is very little of that. But banter is something you will get and it can be very harsh. It comes down to the individuals personal take on the "Banter". If you walked in and announced that you were gay, even if not asked, how do you think the fellow members of your Sqn are going to feel about you? Considering the environment you may be in.
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    (Original post by Blasted)
    Quite right, bullying is not tolerated, and there is very little of that. But banter is something you will get and it can be very harsh. It comes down to the individuals personal take on the "Banter". If you walked in and announced that you were gay, even if not asked, how do you think the fellow members of your Sqn are going to feel about you? Considering the environment you may be in.
    hmmmm... I'm not saying I'd announce it.. I never do. And to be fair, I take a harsh outview on my own sexuality (me being the gay that poset this thread lol), but I don't see why I should have to hide it. I wouldn;t go talking about it, I never do, but with me it's obvious naturally, because of my voice, the fact that I'm slender and my hair is kinda well... gay. lol. but there you go. I get on really well with str8 guys, but I wouldn;t want to feel like i'd have to shut up about it or anything.
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    There is NOTHING wrong with being gay. All Im saying is that the military has a certain way with dealing with things, especially in the crew room. If you give people the ammunition they will use it. By all means dont deny your sexuality, but it shouldnt be an issue unless you make it an issue.
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    Mate, you'll get less banter than the gingers among us!! We have a bisexual on the Sqn and it's the least discussed thing ever. The novelty will probably wear off. It's normally straight guys who get the homosexual bashings anyway
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    A lot of it will depend on how you act. The lads who bring home a different girl every night get a lot of banter - usually either how did you pull her or you had your beer googles on last night type of comments. So if you bring home someone new every night you'll have comments. If you keep your private life more private most people will respect the fact you happen to be gay and who you are as a person will be more important to them.
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    As has been said, it could be worse, you could be a short, fat, northern, ginger bird. If anyone knows one then pass on my condolences.
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    (Original post by NFI)
    As has been said, it could be worse, you could be a short, fat, northern, ginger bird. If anyone knows one then pass on my phone number.



    Sorry mate, couldn't resist.
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    I was in 12 yrs 89 - 01 and never heard of anyone even being GAY and if they were then they kept quiet

    In the Army there is always banter and I never saw any bullying ... the day it gets too PC and we cant have banter is tha day the forces die!
 
 
 
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