EXCLUSIVE – British Army: Number of new gay soldiers too insignificant to count

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PinkNews Exclusive
The number of new recruits in the British Army to have disclosed that they are gay since new rules came into effect last year is less than five.

A Freedom of Information request sent to the MoD reveals that out of over ten thousand troops enlisted in the army since November 2014, under five felt they could come out and reveal that they are gay.

Out of 10,590 new troops, less than five said they were ‘homosexual’, ‘other’ or ‘prefer not to say’.

While it was unclear whether the figure was zero, rounding rules in releases from the Ministry display figures of five or less as ‘∼’.

The new figures came out of a FOI request obtained by Luke Botham and given exclusively to PinkNews.

Despite the low figures, the FOI response said: “The Ministry of Defence encourages diversity at all levels. The option for Service personnel to declare their sexual orientation is not a new facility. This has been available since November 2011 to trainees as part of our Recruit Trainee Survey and Cadet Office Survey.

“This was an interim solution pending an upgrade to our Joint Personnel Administration database.”

Earlier this year PinkNews caught up with the Chief of Defence Personnel for the armed forces, Andrew Gregory, who discussed issues faced by trans people serving on the front lines, and said that pockets of homophobia still exist.

In January, an anonymous British Army general announced plans to come out as gay.

The same month, an officer in the British Army opened up about being transgender.