A British Army general could be about to make history, by coming out as gay.
The officer – who has served in the armed forces for over 25 years – could be on the verge of coming out.
Speaking anonymously to the Mail on Sunday, the general – who is married to a woman and has children – said he plans to open up about his sexuality to challenge claims that discrimination no longer exists.
He told the newspaper that he is part of “a small number of senior officers in the Army, RAF and Royal Navy who have decided to keep their sexuality secret because of the potential impact it might have on their career”.
He added: “The Armed Forces cannot claim it is an equal opportunities employer when the view persists that any senior officer who announces he is gay will see his or her career go up in smoke.’
“I never considered outing myself until another very senior officer said he believed that admission of homosexuality by a senior officer would be career suicide.
“I actually felt like saying, ‘Actually I’m gay and it has never prevented me from serving Queen and country’.
“I was furious, but in the end I let the comment pass.
“But over the last few weeks, I actually started to ask myself whether the time had come for someone of my rank to speak out and to say that you can serve your country at the highest levels of the Armed Forces as a gay man or woman.”
The general says his wife is aware of his sexuality, adding: “After a great deal of soul searching’ they decided to stay together. We love each other deeply.”
He also said: “It might come as a shock to some people but there have been and there are gay members of the SAS. I have met them.”
The Army LGBT Forum said: “Army personnel of any rank, contemplating the difficult decision to come out can get support. Contact us at http://armylgbt.org.uk
Being Transgender or Gay is not a choice, being Transphobic or Homophobic is, so don't be a Twonk