Veterans from the East Midlands have joined the Royal British Legion’s first LGBTQ plus branch. It supports ex-service personnel who’re lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
It’s nearly 20 years since the armed forces lifted the ban on gay people serving in the military.
But for anyone coming to terms with their sexuality before that time, a career in the armed forces could be fraught with difficulty.
Chris Voce from Nottingham joined the Royal Navy when he was 17. It was 1974. He had girlfriends initially, and didn’t think of himself as gay.
Six years later he was questioned by the special investigation branch while he was serving on HMS Excellence.
His crime? He’d written a love letter – to a man.