Dame Kelly Holmes calls on LGBTQ+ veterans whose lives were destroyed under the armed forces’ ban on homosexuality to provide evidence.
Former Olympic athlete, 52, who came out as gay in June, urges ex-soldiers to provide evidence for an independent investigation into the scandal, which saw gay men and women robbed of their honour, military pensions , fired and even jailed.
Since it was illegal for members of the community to serve until 2000, many subsequently struggled with homelessness, unemployment and mental health issues, while being forced to come out to their families.
“This review must force the government to do something!” Kelly Holmes Calls On LGBTQ+ Veterans Whose Lives Was Destroyed Under Armed Forces Ban On Homosexuality To Provide Evidence
About 500 people have already testified to the independent assessment, which was passed cross-party in the 2021 Armed Forces Bill and is led by Lord Etherton, before the November 15 deadline.
Kelly, who lived in fear of being exposed after joining the British Army at the age of 18, said: the mirror: ‘This revision must be as strong as possible, so that it can force the government to do something.
“For some people, just acknowledging that they’ve been affected may be enough. But others need support.’
The honorary colonel of the Royal Armored Corps Training Regiment also calls on the prime minister to apologize on behalf of the state, but settles for ‘a remarkable national figure’.
Tragic: Former Olympic athlete, 52, who came out gay in June, urges ex-soldiers to provide evidence for an independent investigation into the scandal (pictured in 1995)
She said: ‘It has to be someone of a high level who recognizes the effects it has had – someone like the Prince of Wales who has empathy and connection with the military, to recognize it’s wrong – or even the King.’
She also calls for the return of the medals of soldiers who have been taken and wants a formal compensation program to be introduced into her campaign, which she is working on with Fighting With Pride.
The athlete, who won the 800m and 1500m titles at the 2004 Olympics, spoke openly about her sexuality for the first time in June when she stated that she is “finally feeling free” after years of living “secretly”.
Free: Kelly, who lived in fear of being exposed after joining the British army at age 18, also calls on the prime minister to apologize on behalf of the state (photo in 2004)
The honorary colonel of the Royal Armored Corps Training Regiment lived in fear of being exposed after joining the British Army at the age of 18 because the armed forces had a ban on LGBTQ+ soldiers, which was only lifted in 2000. .
Dame Kelly spoke of coming out as gay on BBC’s Morning Live and said people’s reactions were “incredible”, and people got in touch with her after the documentary aired.
She told hosts Gethin Jones and Kimberley Walsh that while she feels “more positive” now, she also feels “in limbo” as she adjusts to living her “new normal.”
Leger: She said, “For some people, just acknowledging that they’ve been affected may be enough. But others need support” (pictured in her role as a colonel on Trooping the Colour)
When asked how the audience reacted, she explained: “I have to say it’s been incredible, the warmth, the feedback from people who came forward to watch my documentary and you know, it’s a little strange because I feel like I’m essentially still in a bubble and a bit in limbo, you can’t just change.
“I’m still the same person, don’t get me wrong, but being announced to suddenly start living the new normal is very different.”
The former Olympian went on to admit that she is still “processing” everything that has happened since her announcement, but said she feels she can finally have a “brighter” future.
She continued: “It’s only one step at a time, I’m processing everything that has come out over the past two weeks and I’m sure my future will look a lot brighter.”
Dame Kelly also spoke of how “heartwarming” it was for her to read the stories of others, with many telling her that they had “found strength” from speaking of her own experiences.
“When you talk, you get a lot of stories back,” she said.
“There are so many people who have emailed and emailed and who have found strength from my conversations and my stories and announcements – in many different ways, all different people of all different ages – and that was so heartwarming.”
Be myself! She also calls for the return of the soldier’s medals that have been taken and wants a formal compensation program to be introduced into her campaign, which she is doing in partnership with Fighting With Pride.