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  2. Gay Navy Sailor's Homecoming Kiss with Husband Sets Off Outrage |
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Fortunately for me, it was not obvious to people that I was gay. If I wanted to go out on a date with Mike which I did , I was going to have to do some serious lying. I absolutely hated it when I did that.

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It was Friday and they would no doubt try to get me to go out with them after our last dive. Second, I was going to lie to Mike, because there is no way in hell I was going to tell him truthfully what I did and who I worked for. I'm not proud of the lies, but living under the rule of DADT left me few options in such a small close-knit community. Being gay is not a choice. In fact, I can remember countless nights of restless sleep praying for God to help me find women attractive in that way.

Gay Navy Sailor's Homecoming Kiss with Husband Sets Off Outrage |

As Garth Brooks says, "Some of God's greatest gifts are un-answered prayers. At the time, the thought of my teammates discovering my secret was terrifying. Sure, there were guys who would whisper and talk behind my back, but overall my SEAL brothers supported me.

For that, I will always be thankful. Patton "The alarm is always too loud," I thought to myself as I rolled over to turn off the annoying, illuminated noise machine.

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In the last five years I've never had to reproach anybody. The navy's liaison with Stonewall was kept a closely guarded secret during more than 12 months of negotiations.

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The group hopes the army and the RAF will follow the navy's incursion into once-forbidden territory. Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, admitted he was surprised by how far the navy's attitude to homosexuality had shifted in recent years. He said he anticipated "upmarket saloon bar prejudice" against the partnership, but insisted the navy was not simply "ticking boxes". They are not doing it to be touchy feely.

Asked to leave the army after his sexuality was investigated in , Mr Johnston called the navy's move "a major step forward" but said it would also be greeted with sadness by many veterans who needlessly lost their jobs over their sexuality in the past. This is all the right moves in all the right directions.

Fortunately - and sadly - our work now is less and less because the forces' welfare organisations are taking on our role. By signing up to Stonewall's "diversity champions" programme, the navy joins such organisations as British Airways, IBM and Sainsbury's. Exchanging ideas on equal opportunities in the workplace during "networking" sessions with such blue-chip companies is part of the partnership, which will be overseen by Vice-Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent, the Second Sea Lord. Cmdr Jones said there were "an increasing number of officers who are out and have good experiences of being gay in the armed services".

Many of the admirals, generals and air marshals who were so concerned by this policy change must look back and think 'what was all the fuss about?

We also have hundreds of gay and lesbian personnel who might otherwise have been sacked. I hope they have the confidence to report it. This is about building the confidence of gay men and women so they can take part in naval society. Lord Kitchener He never married and appreciated porcelain, fine fabrics and interior decor, but it is disputed whether Horatio Kitchener was gay or was just more interested in empire than the opposite sex.

The hero of Sudan and the Boer war, whose portrait encouraged millions to enlist for the first world war, was declared gay by many historians. Little was known about his sexual preferences, although a contemporary journalist remarked that Kitchener "has the failing acquired by most of the Egyptian officers, a taste for buggery". Richard I A towering man and his mother's favourite, the third son of Henry II earned the sobriquet the Lionheart for his campaigns in France and crusades in the Holy Land. He married but never had children.

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TE Lawrence The novelist and soldier hailed as Lawrence of Arabia was renowned for his heroic role as a British liaison officer during the Arab Revolt of He was also subject to rumours about other liaisons, particularly after a military colleague said he was hired to give Lawrence masochistic beatings. Poems include dedications to male friends while his writing, including his autobiographical account of his struggle in the Middle East, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, also contains richly homoerotic passages.