SAS soldier opens up about homophobic discrimination
A gay SAS soldier has opened up about the homophobic discrimination he still faces in the UK Military.
The soldier, who has remained anonymous, told the Telegraph that despite being a brilliant soldier, the homophobic attitudes often prevented him from progressing.
He explained that he did not have as many chances at promotions, and was told by peers that it was likely down to his sexuality.
The soldier said: “I was very disappointed at the promotion results, I have more experience and good reports from frontline operations than any of my contemporaries, but a good mate told me that my sexuality was a concern.
“It is very much an old fashioned approach and often down to the view of senior officers.”
However, he insists that the discrimination wasn’t necessarily straight forward as he doubts that anybody would be outright homophobic.
“The promotion boards are held behind closed doors and I doubt very much that my sexuality would have been mentioned.
“Nobody would risk openly being anti-gay,” he insisted.
“But after the meeting my mate was picking up some paperwork and heard two officers speaking in a derogatory term about me being gay.
“If any senior NCO had been aware I am sure they would have spoken up for me,” he said.
The soldier explained that his own lack of promotion and encounters with discrimination are not isolated as previous gay officers have reported encountering the same issues.
“There have been gays in the regiment in the past and no one has said anything.
“Often because those concerned have not wanted to pursue promotion and have been happy to soldier on as Troopers or Corporals.”
He added that the issue wasn’t across the whole military, but was something he had witnessed especially in special forces such as the SAS.
“It may be hard to appreciate in 2017 when we have such an open society, but parts of the Army are happy for you to be gay as long as you don’t mention it, some senior officers are very open about it, others are less willing to accept it,” he added.