I suspect that 2SL is talking about expanding the Amport House Role playing sessions that form the core of the Care of Trainees course and which are excellent.
However, I do have a bit of a problem with all of this. If you read the press comments of any of the gay officers who have come out they all say that they are treated extremely well by their colleagues and have no problems at all. I think it is fair to say that Jack as a whole judges a peson on who they are and not what they are. However what is getting a bit irritaing is the way that we seem to be going overboard with promoting the issue in the press - Conferences, marching, role playing, etc etc. If there is a major problem in the service then lets address it but the very fact that so many people have felt able to come out and their public comments are all positive suggests to me that there is not a major issue. No sensible person should discriminate on the basis of sexuality but as a hetrosexual male I get irritaded that we seem to over promote the issue as if there was a massive problem just to be PC. Its very irritaing, is typical of the Blair governments focus on spin and presentation and reminds me of the crass way that in the mid 90s every single PR photo had to have an ethnic minority in it.
The Navy has improved greatly in the last 10 years and succesive 2SLs should be proud of their achievements ... but lets be fair in dealing with people and not -ve discriminate. 2SL - Sir, we are a great employer but lets start sorting out some of the issues that impact on the vast majority of people in teh services and not those PC issues that refer to a minority who seem to be quite happy with life anyway. Examples: Lets start getting some decent recognition for the Amred Forces amongst the general public and importantly the desk jockeys in the treasury who pretend that the last pay award was good for us - provided you dont live in and pay food and accom. Let look for some decent civilian discounts and benefits for our people like the USN does - and not increase the cost of an HM Rail Car by 400% to roughly an ABs daily rate fo pay, stop making people give a years notice to leave when they have a job waiting, lets sort out the drafting mess... i could go on!
Bearing in mid persec and that the reptiles from the press look in on Arrse and will proably do so here, what is the general experience in the fleet with gay people on board ship? I left before the change but in talking to the one gay officer that I know its generally been ok but I've always thought it would be easier for officers. Is 2SL addressing a real problem, or is this just PR?
Positive discrimination, in what ever direction is a bad thing. Avon and Somerset Police have just admitted turning down some 200 applicants for no other reason than they were white males, in a effort to increase ethenic and female recruiting. To me this down values everything, if you are of a minority group and things are being weighted in your favour you must be asking the question, was I taken on on merit or to satisfy PC targets.
Its' not so much positive discrimination but "sensitivity training." Is this course really needed, based on experiences within the fleet, or is this just a PR exercise? And how do they propose to select those people to go on it? Not exactly the kind of thing you'd want in your record "Identified as homophobic and sent on The Course. Watch for backsliding."
You will also find that the vast majority of the HGLT (Homosexual, Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered) personnel wish that this would all go away, much as our ethnic personnel detested the "black face in the crowd" campaign that we seemed to wage a little while ago. I know for a fact that there was a database of ethnics that was used when the media team turned up and there were no ethnics to be photographed. The same with the RN Presentation Team, which had a period of "ethnic exclusive" drafting. The overall impression is that we are not taking these actions to improve their lot, we are trying to keep ourselves in the Top 5 "Stonewall Friendly" League. There is nothing wrong in being public about how we treat our people, but this treatment should be even-handed. The Railcard is an appalling erosion of benefits, to the extent that it is not actually worth getting one, you are better off getting a Family Railcard straight from the Network.
People forget that the first two civil ceremonies involved RLC females and an Inf Cpl and his boyfriend. The big story will always be the RN, mainly because toilet rolls like the Scum don't have the wit to see past the Village People connotations.
Of course it is positive discrimination, unless there is a course/role playing where all Gays have to role play Macho (or call it what you will) roles.
I have no problems at all with other peoples life styles until they are forced on me, what happens to the Man/Woman who refuses to role play at these things maybe because their of own beliefs. Does this become some sort of disiplinary matter, or do you have a list of role playing in which everyone who is not part of a particular group has to take place. The fleet, such as it is, would never get to sea.
I suspect this is being done not such because of jack's attitude to gays, but how the rest of the world thinks what jack's attitude is. It is trying to present a positive perception to the public, in particular ou recruiting population in an effort to make them realise the RN does exist in the 21 century, not the 19 century. And what will bugger it up (as it were) is retired admirals and lt cdrs harping on in the letters pages of the torygraph and times saying how it degrades fighting efficency etc etc...
I say good on 2SL, and with any luck it'll increase recruitment.
I would think the majority of gay people in the services like most hetrosexuals prefer to keep the sexual life private.But it seems the minority of the minority wish to shout it from the rooftops for attentions sake.Have the MOD got plans for a sexual minority navy with pink ships.!
To put things into some perspective, gays living outside the metropolis as in the Andrew of the past, have/had to pretend to be straight/macho in order to survive without getting kicked out or frequently kicked-in! In effect they have been forced to role play heterosexuals: though I have a problem with calling homosexuality a "lifestyle choice". I personally think that it has a neurological explanation - not to be confused with a treatable psychiatric disorder and that one day it will be screenable in utero, just as we can screen for Down syndrome today. But that presents difficult moral choices which I shall avoid here! We say that we are unhappy with heterosexuals having to "role play" gay roles, but we forget that gay matelots have had to do precisely this (role play heterosexuals, that is) in-order not to face (in the past, dishonourable) discharge from the Service.
There was recently an article in the Nursing Standard (no I am not a ex-medic, though I could be lusting after nurses and trying to impress them :wink: ) which asked nurses whether they would rather tell someone they were gay or had schizophrenia. It certainly makes you think! Which would you rather claim?
Have been at balls & dinners where gay officers have brougt partners along. Frankly there is no issue whatsoever. If you like and respect someone, who then tells you that they're gay and you change your opinion of them then you need to take a good look at yourself!
Frankly there are hetrosexual people I know whose sexual preferences are not my own but frankly who cares!
thank god im not in todays navy i have nothing against gays everyones lifestyle is up to the individual concerned my only fear if i were serving today is that the powers that be would make it compulsary.
Quite possibly, today's Navy would have no place for you then. Nor would any Navy, seeing as we have always had homosexuals, just not legal ones. Did the change from sail to steam cause problems? Course not, just for the ones that want to appear old and bold and rattle on about the good old times that never really existed - unless you include the mess initiations which always seemed to end in borderline homosexuality that was written off as "bonding" or "horseplay".......
The British Legion is teeming with the "not in my day" crowd, which is why they have such trouble keeping their branches alive.
Well I will have to disagree with Pompey Sailor on that one, the good old times did exist, there was nothing to beat a showing the flag deployment round the far east and I agree with higthepig all this PC crap is enough to make an old salt vomit up his pint down the Legion.