Former military men talk about being gay in the armed forces

Former Lance Corporal James Wharton and ex-naval officer Rolf Kurth talk about their experiences

Former Lance Corporal James Wharton and ex-naval officer Rolf Kurth talk about their experiences - Credit: Archant

Two former miltary men spoke about being gay in the British armed forces during a visit to Newham College to mark LGBT history month.

Former Lance Corporal James Warton and ex-naval officer Rolf Kurth spoke about how attitudes to gay service people have changed.

Rolf, who was thrown out of the Navy in 1997 for being gay. but re-joined the armed forces three-and-a-half years later. said role models help to eliminate stereotypes.

“A colleague said to me that he hated gay people but when he ended up working with me he admitted he could not find a reason to hate me,” he said.

James, who was awarded the Freedom of the City of London for his work promoting gay equality, said he was impressed with the college’s diversity.

“Students here are from different ethnic and racial backgrounds, so you can’t assume how they’ll receive what you say,” he said. “Alongside a college that tries to make equality more than a policy, it makes the college unique.”

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