This is a significant year for the LGBT community and Defence as we celebrate 20 years since the ban was lifted on LGBT personnel serving within the Armed Forces. I was honoured to host a reception in January at the Houses of Parliament and make a personal apology to those who experienced discrimination before 2000.
Various events are taking place throughout February across Defence to celebrate LGBT History Month which are being actively publicised through both internal and external communications, including regular social media posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter with Defence case studies. Some of the highlights include a ‘Let’s talk about Inclusion’ event where a panel will discuss the LGBT History Month and inclusion with a question and answer session to open up conversations and give staff the confidence to have open discussions; a workshop that explored the issues LGBT staff face in the workplace; a Royal Navy conference, Navy Pride 20 – ‘The Past, Present and Future’; an Army memorial event at the National Memorial Arboretum and the Royal Air Force’s Freedom Network taking part in a collaborative media project with the RAF Museum. In addition, a number of Defence establishments are celebrating the month through raising the rainbow flag.
Looking further ahead, I am proud that Defence will be recognising and celebrating various events throughout the year, such as Pride, Transgender Day of Visibility, Transgender Day of Remembrance, National Coming Out Day and more.