Liverpool’s HMS Eaglet will host Veterans Pride celebrating the service of LGBT+ veterans and serving personnel in Armed forces
Liverpool’s HMS Eaglet will host a special Veteran’s Pride event this month celebrating the service of LGBT+ veterans and serving personnel in the UK’s Armed Forces.
In a first event of its kind, Veterans Pride will take place during LGBT history month on Saturday 10th February and has been created and organised by a team of partner military charities led by LGBT+ military charity Fighting With Pride. They have collaborated with members of the Forces Wellbeing Collective, Royal British Legion RBL and the LGBT+ healthcare and support charity, Sahir House.
The careers of many of the veterans attending were cut short by the historic ‘gay ban’ which remained in place until 12th January 2000. Some of those who lost their careers faced arrest, intrusive, investigations and even prison sentences just for being ‘gay’.
In January 2022, the UK Government announced an LGBT Veterans Independent Review, which was Chaired by former Master of the Rolls, Lord Etherton KC. Over an 18-month period, 1100 veterans gave evidence of their experiences, with many having faced criminal charges and dismissal for being gay, or presumed to be gay.
On 19th July 2023, in response to Lord Etherton’s Report recommendations, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, made an apology on behalf of the British nation in the House of Commons as he announced a package of reparations.
Fighting With Pride, inspired by Executive Chair and ex Lieutenant Commander Craig Jones MBE and CEO, ex Flight Lieutenant Dr Caroline Paige MBE. FWP was formed on the 20th anniversary of the lifting of the ‘gay ban’ to seek restorative justice for those affected. For many, being removed from the Armed Forces resulted in ‘outing’, criminal records, loss of income, careers, homes, financial stability and health implications. The impact of the ban endures and Fighting with Pride’s continued campaign for recognition and reparation for this severely disadvantaged group of veterans, many of whom served in the Falklands War, Northern Ireland and Gulf War, has won widespread support. Dr Caroline Paige also contributes to Liverpool City Communities as Patron of Liverpool City Region Pride Foundation and as a member of Liverpool Football Club’s LGBT+ Advisory Group
The sell out event, includes moments of recognition and celebration of LGBT+ veterans service and a whole host of performers will entertain guests on the night. Performing are comedienne and singer Pauline Daniels, drag artist Filla Crack and vocal sensation Andrew Geater, star of the musical ‘Joseph’.
Kenny Bryce, Fighting With Pride’s UK Veterans Community Workers Team Manager, based in Liverpool said: “LGBT history month is a time to celebrate the achievements of LGBTQ+ Veterans and people in our communities, and in which we recognise the struggles that many LGBT+ people have faced in the past and that many still face today.”
Caroline Paige MBE, Fighting With Pride’s Chief Executive said: “It is fantastic to see Armed Forces and veterans communities in Liverpool come together to honour the service of our incredible LGBT+ veterans, who met all the challenges of service in our Armed Forces but for whom careers often ended in sadness. At moments like these, we come together to demonstrate the warm welcome that exists in all our organisations for all of those who have served.”
The evening is sponsored by Forces Wellbeing Collective, Liverpool Gin Distillery, RBL, HMS Eaglet and Sahir House.
For further information on Fighting With Pride, Government Independent Review and Reparations Next Steps, please click on link www.fightingwithpride.org.uk/reparations for further information on the Veteran’s Pride event contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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