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Comment: Growing up gay on a British Army base felt like being a gay teen in Russia

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  1. Growing up gay on a British Army base felt like being a gay teen in Russia? So you were beated, tortured and left for dead too then? Funny the article doesn’t say you were. A little perspective would have been good here, unfortunately it just sounds like a self-centred ‘poor me’ story. We all dealt with feeling like outsiders when we grew up in Britain during the 80s and 90s, stop whinging.

    1. Get a grip, Dave! That was a rather nasty and uncalled for attack on someone telling their own story.

    2. Josie Recknagel-Fessey 6 Sep 2013, 6:45pm

      Hi Dave,
      To be honest with you, they chose the title for me, the article I had submitted was entitled “growing up gay in the forces”, I had no idea that that comparison was going to be made in the opening to my article, and personally even I think it’s a bit hyperbole. However, I do not think I’m “whinging” when I speak out against an environment that normalises and accepts sexual harassment and homophobic language. These are problems that nobody should have to put up with and I don’t think victims of those things should be silenced.

    3. Josie Recknagel-Fessy 6 Sep 2013, 7:01pm

      Just felt like I need to say that I didn’t choose that title, they chose it for me and I had no idea, the original one I had submitted was “Comment: growing up gay on a british military base” and they changed it to draw the comparison with russia, which even I think is a bit of an exaggeration. However, I don’t think that I’m “whinging” when talking about my experiences of homophobia and sexual harassment, and the way that those things were normalised and accepted in the community I grew up in. I can’t believe people are trying to silence me on those things, particularly people within the gay community.

  2. On the matter of the time spent discussing issues in PSHE lessons in schools, whenever a proposal is raised to be more inclusive of LGBT students and to address the issues affecting their lives, the old-guard homophobes in Parliament, religious institutions, and some of the media shoot it down. Because to save lives hurts their feelings.
    The situation will not improve anywhere near fast enough for those of us in rural areas, faith communities, and military bases overseas until those who delight in blocking progress are no longer holding their positions of power.

  3. The Halcyon 6 Sep 2013, 1:06pm

    I’m an army brat and I disagree with the comments expressed despite growing up in bases in the UK and abroad. Whilst there was the generic name calling, the levels of racism by adults and kids were far worse. Hell, there were some squaddies who encouraged their kids to beat up (and I mean really go to town) the children of BME soldiers. There wasn’t anything like that over suspected LGB kids.

    1. I’m not sure that actually undermines the argument of the article.

      This isn’t the oppression Olympics. Where’s there racism, sexism or other forms of intolerance and discrimination, there’s usually also homophobia.

      What you say about systematic racist violence is shocking and disgusting.

      But the fact that the racism was so serious doesn’t mean there was no homophobia, although I’m glad it wasn’t at the level of organised violence and I’m glad it wasn’t directed at you.

  4. The SBAs in Cyprus have a lot of problems. I’m not surprised that homophobia is among them.

    The SBAs have their own law, and British law doesn’t apply. The Equality Act 2010 is not part of SBA law. LGB people enjoy some employment protections but that’s about it, and there’s no protection for trans* people I believe.

  5. Well done for telling your story Josie.

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