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Gays in the RAF

Old 16th Nov 2008, 21:54
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Gays in the RAF

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. I am a Gay 21 Yr old male on the verge of joining the RAF as a Pilot. I am due to start IOT soon. I would like to take some of your time to ask if I should openly say that I am Gay to my new work colleagues. If I make it to the front line as a single seat Pilot, which is my hope, what sort of attitude do you think I could expect from a very male orientated proffession? Is there still a very much homophobic attitude or will I be accepted for who I am. I am very much looking forward to the training, maybe not so much the initial 30 odd weeks at IOT, but once I start flying it will be my dream come true.

Thank you for your time.
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 22:05
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I think you should just keep quiet and get on with the job.
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 22:11
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Why do you identify yourself by your sexuality? Identify yourself for who you are ffs, not by who you like to pump.

I dare say that scandal will surround you in your forthcoming career. If you feel the need to openly declare your sexuality or identify yourself by such then I dare say the armed forces are not for you. You will only perceive issues where none exist and create disharmony, ending in a tabloid centre spread starring yourself and how you was hounded out of a job you loved etc etc.

Be yourself and people will accept you for what you are. They may think you are a good egg or may think you are a total chiseller. That will be down to your personality though, not your sexuality.
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 22:21
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If you feel the need to openly declare your sexuality or identify yourself by such then I dare say the armed forces are not for you
Well it's funny that you should write that because my initial interest in the RAF came form the recruitment team that was at the Gay Pride Parade. Now they obviously wanted to identify us so why should I hide it? What is going to happen when I turn up with my partner for a social function in the Officers Mess? Is the Station Commanders wife going to feint when I introduce him as my life partner?
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 22:23
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Until very recently, being gay was a bar to service in HM's Armed Forces, and they remain an extremely conservative organisation, many of whose members have old fashioned, conservative values and views.

This is why the Forces are where you find dedication and loyalty to queen and country, and where you find cameraderie and esprit de corps that don't exist elsewhere.

These old fashioned, conservative values are what underpin fighting spirit and combat effectiveness, and it would be tragic if Political Correctness ran rampant in the military.

But the flipside is that you also find profoundly illiberal attitudes, including some homophobia. Many people within and without the forces (myself included) would view it as a retrograde step that homosexuality is now 'permitted' within the services. Others would find it very hard to understand your 'preferences'.

My advice would be to listen carefully to the advice you have been given.

If you really can't 'convert' to lady-lurv, then maybe you should keep shtum about your abomination!

Good luck with IOT.
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 22:32
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Many people within and without the forces (myself included) would view it as a retrograde step that homosexuality is now 'permitted' within the services.
If the selectors at OASC have seen fit to give me the chance to be a fast jet pilot in the RAF why should my sexuality bar me from doing that?

and it would be tragic if Political Correctness ran rampant in the military.
I didn't realise that being Gay was me being politically correct. Not all have these old fashioned and outdated values you talk about. Maybe Servicemen like yourself are the ones who can't or won't change. If I ever meet you on a front line fast jet squadron then does that mean you will ignore me even if I am capable of doing the job asked of me?
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 22:42
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Just don't turn into the RAF'S Graham Norton as an ex work member did. I did'nt broadcast how many ladies I'd been with, he thought we needed to know all about his sex life. We did'nt !!!
Keep it stum and don't brag/broadcast it.
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 22:47
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This has to be a wind up?
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 22:51
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Whether it's a wind up or not, I don't think it'll be here for me to read tomorrow!
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 22:52
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Bugger!

I bit

Wah!

I think 'Vegetarians in the Royal Navy' is a subject of more worthy debate. The number of times I was delayed in the scran queue by veggies waiting for their customised ommlettes to be created outraged me! Then there were the wrens who would decide they were veggie all of a sudden (mess fad) so a disproportionate amount of the cook's efforts went into stuffed peppers and alpen ommlettes and not my Sunday roasts
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 23:00
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I'm afraid you won't be able to join the RAF.

You see - I'm the only gay in the Air Force!

Seriously, although the previous advice may seem to be fairly right wing, it is both accurate and sensible. Although many in the RAF couldn't really give a toss whether you are gay or straight (as long as don't chat them up), there are still a reasonable number who would find the situation difficult to deal with, despite compulsory diversity and equality training.

Aircrew tend to be judged on ability, not sex or sexuality. If you are a nice bloke, reasonably good at your job, and don't make it overly obvious that you are gay, most guys on the squadron will accept you for who you are. The RAF (in theory at least) will come down heavily on anyone who tries to make life difficult for you.
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 23:09
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You might be more suited to the backseat, but then...

...Not sure if I'd want you in the boot given your persuasions...

Nah, go push a cart for Easymob!
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 23:12
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I hope you do well and get on and get your dream flying Job, but I would not ram your sexuality down peoples throats....... pun NOT intended..

Seriously, as with all things in life, a few people as you have seen get on their high horse when something like this is brought up. You also may as with all things in life run up against the odd bigot in th RAF, so get yourself through all of your training etc first and go from there...

Myself, I couldnt give a damn what anyones sexual orientation is, I have several friends that are Gay, but they do not make a point of broadcasting it to the world..... maybe till you are sorted that might be the way forward, unfortunately as we see in this equal world, not all things are.....

After all not everyone walks into a room like Lord FlasHeart off Blackadder and announce to the world they wish to shag the pants off every woman present....
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 23:40
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Gai pilot,

Calm down, feller.

"If the selectors at OASC have seen fit to give me the chance to be a fast jet pilot in the RAF why should my sexuality bar me from doing that?"

I didn't say it should, or would, only that some of your colleagues would still believe that it should. If you want a career where homosexuality is completely accepted, the military probably isn't it, just yet, and that it's still an area where you perhaps wouldn't be well advised to broadcast the fact, nor to expect that 'introducing your life partner' to the Staish would be a grand idea.

"I didn't realise that being Gay was me being politically correct."

It isn't, and that's not what I said. Conservative values generally (not insofar as they relate to homosexuals) are an integral (and I believe essential) part of military effectiveness and fighting spirit, and you'll need to understand and accept them, even if you don't share all of them.

"Not all have these old fashioned and outdated values you talk about."

Nor did I say that they did. Only that many do.

"Maybe Servicemen like yourself are the ones who can't or won't change. If I ever meet you on a front line fast jet squadron then does that mean you will ignore me even if I am capable of doing the job asked of me?"

I'm not a serviceman - hence the within and without. You may run across me if you make the cut, and I'll be happy to meet you, and will treat you with courtesy and respect. That respect will reduce if you are militant or pushy about your sexuality. Just as I grudgingly accept your right to combine a career in the military with what I view as being a sexual perversion, you'd be well advised to grudgingly accept that there are people whose acceptance of gays in the military is ........ grudging!

You'll find that most of your future comrades in arms won't give a toss, and those who do will have the politeness and courtesy not to ram their 'intolerance' down your throat, and you'd be well advised to be equally circumspect.

In the light of your posts, I'd suggest that you may have bigger obstacles in your path than your homosexuality. You need to accept that the needs of the service will outweigh your own, and that rights you'd take for granted in civilian life won't be yours in the Forces. Learn not to take yourself too seriously, and learn to laugh at yourself, and quietly (to yourself) at those who may have hang ups with who you are.
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 23:57
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If this is indeed not a wind up then i'd say you are wholly unsuited to a life in the forces. Already on this thread you have claimed 'issues' and jumped to conclusions (your reply to Jackonicko). I think you have a chip on your shoulder. The forces do not need the likes of you.
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 23:58
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Mate, you've gotta be winding people up, but if you are legit, I think you should let all your fellow students and instructors know that you bat for the other team, so that you can be accorded all due consideration and respect.
I'm not sure how comfortable all the other more normal students will be in the communal showers or other aspects that require them to be in close quarters with you, but be prepared for the occasional and not very pc comment.
Failing that, come dunnunder, I hear the Australian military these days gives everyone a fair go, they'd no doubt welcome you with open arms so to speak, so you could always consider having a crack at that. No pun intended.

Oh yeah - good luck
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Old 17th Nov 2008, 00:38
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I suspect being gay is a bigger issue for the Military Forum of PPRuNe than it is for the RAF, judging by previous threads pertaining to this subject matter.
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Old 17th Nov 2008, 01:56
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Gai Pilot -

As has been referred to, there has been a thread or two in the past couple of years about this. I have to say, (somewhat to my shame), I was one of those that made some very disparaging remarks in the debate. I've been out of the mob a lot longer now, and so am a little less institutionalised.

The change in Military Law that permitted the engagement of homosexuals took place less than 10 years ago. Thus you will find some who you serve with (under, given their seniority), who will have maintained the attitude they were indoctrinated with on joining. Gays were not just illegal, they were the very dirt on the boots of those who serve. When "Pink Wednesday" arrived, we were just told (and I quote) "This is an order. Salute, turn to the right and march out".

Given your age, I should imagine you have no comprehension of the enormity of this issue at the time. I'd even venture to suggest that you have known you are gay for less than the time that this practice is now allowed, and in the context of a military career, it's only been since NAAFI break.

I say this because my advice to you is along the lines of "don't ask, don't tell". If you want to be a career homosexual, the Armed Forces are probably not for you. If you want to be a career pilot, then the RAF is a good choice. Don't let one issue confuse the other though.

Best of luck, and thank you for your intended service.
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Old 17th Nov 2008, 03:06
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I'm not RAF - just a normal civvy but just for the sake of supplying an opinion...

Why do some people think that anyone else wants to know or has interest in what or who they like to have sexual relations with? People that don't care about others sexuality have the right to remain ignorant.

I can't recall ever having someone say 'I'd like to work in your laboratory - by the way I like straight sex but occasionally some light to medium BDSM doesn't go amiss - I'm open to a little mutual DIY and I don't mind some web cam action - I've got GCSE's in chemistry and maths'.

There's a difference between an employer being equal opportunities and actually wanting to bleedin' well have it discussed.

This may come as a shock - but not everyone is interested in what a unique and beautiful little snowflake you are.
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Old 17th Nov 2008, 03:10
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Originally Posted by GaiPilot
I would like to take some of your time to ask if I should openly say that I am Gay to my new work colleagues.
No

All the reasons have already been given: if this isn't a wind up, why not accept the advice
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