Posted in LGBT, News, romance

LGBT armed forces review

The UK Government/Ministry of Defence have recently announced a review into the consequences of a decades-long ban on LGBT people serving in Britain’s armed forces. The review, which will speak to LGBT veterans directly, aims to look at the impact the ban had on LGBT people serving in the army, navy and air force, as well as the availability of veterans’ services for LGBT veterans, and the possibility of greater recognition or even compensation for those affected.

Homosexuality in the armed forces was only decriminalised in the year 2000; before that LGBT personnel had to choose between their sexuality and their career. If they were discovered to be homosexual (or any shading on the LGBT rainbow) they could be dishonourably discharged from the service, or even jailed. Either way, they lost any medals or commendations, pensions and rights.

I’ve always felt that it was a silly decision to ban anyone who was brave enough to volunteer to fight for their country, and for that reason I chose to use this whole subject as a backdrop in my m/m romance December Roses. In the book, main character Nat has been a sergeant in the British army, forced to hide his sexuality to protect his career. Being human, he’s given into temptation with terrible consequences, and feels a great deal of guilt. It’s left to a colleague to point out to him that it’s not entirely his fault and that he’s been the victim of a culture of discrimination, but he still doesn’t feel he deserves a completely happy ending.

Like Nat, many thousands of other LGBT people would have served in the armed forces whilst constantly looking over their shoulder, or been forced to deny who they really were. I hope this review can bring understanding and closure for anyone who was adversely affected, but I suspect in many cases it’s simply too late for that. Thankfully Nat eventually finds a little more in the way of happiness, as you can see if you read the book. You can find it here if you’re interested…


Fiona lives in a slate cottage within stone-throwing distance (never a good idea in Glass houses...) of England's largest lake. She enjoys history, gardening and photography, and rarely has her nose far from the pages of a book - or a cup of tea.

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