Hello Soldier(!) How forward thinking of the armed forces (finally) Remember how Paul Cahill caused a stir in his Police Uniform on GT many years back. Of course in my humble opinion the Household Cavalry have the best uniforms (!) well done trooper Wharton.
What a stark contrast with the US position on gay service personnel.
Thanks Guys for everyone who is supporting my being in the media spotlight, i think if i’m loud and proud about being gay, without causing anybody any problems, it may pave the way for a large number of Soldiers who are closseted, that may feel service life is not compatible with being openly gay!
Im impressed – this really shows how far forward we come come – congratulations to James and Soldier magazine.
Congratulations to Soldier and Trooper Wharton, for making such a great move to recognise all of the gay service personnel serving so proudly with PRIDE in our armed forces. As a former RAF wing commander, who lived a life in the closet whilst serving, it really makes me proud to see the progress that has been made in the services today. I was present at the Stonewall Diversity Champions celebration when the British Army became a member of the program and it was refreshing to hear the enthusiasm that senior officers had for making the service a more acceptable place. We should be rightly proud of the way our services have moved forward, whilst not forgetting the problems of the past – today is a day to salute them.
Well done James, this is marvellous. It is good to see you helping to break down tired sterotypes and making positive progress. As well as encouraging gay military personnel to come out and be proud too I hope this also encourages young gay people to consider military careers whereas they would once have been put off and felt alienated by the idea. Diversity in the army really will be a strength in many ways.
Congratulations for taking the step to do this James. It will mean a lot to people out there still in the closet to see you so successful and respected. It will also be a positive role model for the young guys who see or hear of this who think they might not be welcome in our armed forces.
Thanks also for your service to the UK – it really is appreciated. I hope Britney was worth the rush!
Thank you for your service and integrity James. I”m in the US still fighting to change the crazy discriminatory DADT policy left over from the Clinton presidency. It’s tough going but we have hopes that it may be possible with Obama in the White House. HSQMYP!
As Peter R. said, what a contrast with the US policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Could someone explain to me how Britain can allow people to “be” the way that they were created, and America shies away from this?
Alf mabrouk (1000 congratulations in Arabic) to Trooper Wharton, Soldier magazine, and the UK for recognizing excellence regardless of orientation.
Trooper Wharton, I salute you and all your fellow soldiers for defending our homelands, allowing the rest of us to live in the “lands of liberty”.
There are lots of different types of courage; and James has shown at least two – one serving in a war zone and the other being brave enough to be himself. I left the infantry in 1998 unable to be myself. All credit to you James and Soldier magazine.
I was kicked out of the Army for being gay and even though it’s been
legalized I still do not get invited to the regular reunions. That horrific
episode started me off down the path of gay rights. Last year I helped the
Imperial War Museum with finding people for an exhibition after they saw my
front page story about a guy serving in Iraq:
Excellent, and congratulations to James.
OK, I know I’m shallow. The congratulations on James’ bravery and honesty go without saying. But James is pretty damn cute as well.
Craig you arn’t invited back to reunions as you wear dresses!!
Very inspiring :)
I can only reiterate what others have said:
Well done James is setting an example to others. Above all I salute you all for your bravery in Afghanistan. You’re all doing an amazing job.
Still a long way to go James as the bullying in the ranks still exist because of sexuality. Its not simply a case of issuing the orders, its getting the ranks to understand and accept it. Too many are still forced into the closet.
CIB might not be going through peoples kit looking for queers but a hidden unofficial deterrents are still around.
We also need justice for those kicked out and given dishonourable discharges for being Gay and Trans. Service records should be amended pension rights restored and compensation should be paid to the victims.
I am proud of you James but a lot still needs to be done for all those in the LGBT who have served or are serving.
I never thought I would see the day when we have Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans personnel serving yet today we do. :)
Well done, James and congratulations! Glad to see this happening.
The Mammas And Papas hit strikes a note here too: “And It’s Getting Better, Getting Stronger…..”
Former Rock Ape,
When you say that some soldiers are “forced into the closet” you belittle the courage of Trooper Wharton and others who have had the strength, the courage and the bollocks to be out. Is it hard, extremely hard in some cases, to be out in the military? You bet your ass is. Your fellow troops can be brutal, especially if one allows it, but, at least in England, troops are allowed to serve openly. They are not forced to stay closeted in order to serve. Yeah, it takes guts, it takes courage, it takes thick skin and it takes the strength to stand up for oneself and challenge anyone who has a problem with it. But isn’t that really what being a good soldier is all about? Isn’t that a good part of what being a MAN is about? Being in the military requires one to have exceptional strength and courage to do things that are difficult, frightening and extraordinary. Those troops who are in the closet are there by choice. I’m not judging them for, or questioning their choice. It is certainly an understandable choice to make but it is none the less a choice and by acknowledging this fact we give all due credit to the courageous choice that others make to not be closeted.
Trooper Wharton…SEMPER FI and a big HOOOO RAAAAH, Sir, from an American Marine and veteran of the first Gulf War. I served openly for my last two years before leaving the Corps voluntarily. I found that people only gave me sh*t for being gay when I allowed it. Otherwise I got the same sh*t that all Marines do and I loved it.
All credit to the British Army, SOLDIER Mag and Tpr James Wharton for a great piece of publicity on how far things really have progressed in the ten years since the European Court of Human Rights created the situation where the UK Ministry of Defence had to change the policy on gays serving openly. Who would have thought ten years ago that today we would have a vibrant social and support network for the military LGBT community – proud2serve.net – that is accessible from the workplace on military computers?
A small correction though, if you please, to your article – James is clearly not the first gay serviceman will have appeared on the cover of Soldier mag in the decades of its existence. He is just the first who we know about.
Proud2Serve, VERY good point!
What a pity the MOD is not worthy of our Lads and Lasses dedication to duty; its just sick trying to cut their benefits! The MPS should be doubly ashamed given their recent shenanagins! And congrats to the two gay women in the Mrs &Mrs article (if you click the link you can also see James in his army fatigues!!!)
Well done James. We’re all proud of you.
It’s just a shame that all this stardom has now gone to his head. He’ll be a sad loss to the mainstream LGBTIQ Activists arena. But hey ho, as they say, money and fame blinds everyone eventually.