Two friends who pretended to be a straight couple while serving in the Royal Air Force have now married their real partners in a double wedding.
Gail Langan and Mark Sully became friends more than 30 years ago while both were in the RAF, at a time when LGBT+ people were banned from being in the army.
“It was illegal to be gay in the air force and we could have been thrown out so Gail and I allowed people to believe we were girlfriend and boyfriend,” Sully said, reported the Metro.
“It was hard to hide our sexuality but we knew people that had been thrown out.”
Both Langan and Sully came out to their families after they had left the Air Force.
Langan went on to work as a social worker and Sully went on to work as a chef on private yachts, but the pair stayed friends throughout.
Later in life, Langan met Olga Tomic, who was also a social worker, and Sully met his partner Barry Metters.
“We chatted for a few weeks and hit it off,” Mark said.
“Then I got a call from Gail the next September saying she’d met someone too, someone I knew.”
Both couples joked about having a double wedding, but then decided they actually wanted to go ahead with the idea.
The couples married in April at a joint wedding in Cornwall, with each couple acting as a witness for the other, before having a reception in May.
Gail said: “We think the people wandering around outside the venue after thought we were two straight couples at first, then they realised, they’re two gay couples, which we thought was funny.”
The ban on LGBT+ people serving in the army was finally lifted in 2000.
Earlier this year, the British Army released an advertising campaign to promote diversity and boost the falling number of new recruits.
The “This is Belonging” campaign, which supports different sexualities, ethnicities and faiths, was criticised for being too “politically correct.”
The new video, which was shared on Facebook by Army Jobs, has been criticised for having “too much focus on diversity and equal rights and not enough on just focusing on enlisting quality over quota.”