Ahoy there. We’re gay and proud of it
Faslane-based Royal Navy sailors and Royal Marines on the march.
Royal Navy Sailors and Royal Marines from HM Naval Base Clyde showed their support for the LGBT+ community by marching at Pride in Glasgow on Saturday.
The Royal Navy has been taking part in Pride events since 2006 and this year marks ten years since all three of the UK’s armed forces and Defence Civilians have taken part in events around the country.
The parade started at Clyde Place at midday and the Royal Navy took their place amongst the thousands who marched through Glasgow City centre, making their way to the finish at Kelvingrove Park, where the Pride Glasgow Festival took place.
This year, to mark the Year of the Young Person, the march was led by young LGBT+ people and politicians from across Scotland mixed with a range of colourful floats and walking groups, alongside members of the public, all there to highlight the need for fairness and equality across Scotland, the UK and the rest of the world.
Sub Lieutenant Annabel Sykes, 28, from West Yorkshire, is a junior Logistics Officer at the Naval Base and was attending Pride Glasgow for the first time.
Annabel said: “I think it is important that we have visible role models in the work place. Whilst it might not seem important to be ‘out’ in an office full of straight people, at some time in the future, I could be a divisional officer for a young person who isn’t out, or unsure of their sexuality.
“Being a visible, confident and proud gay woman in everyday life is therefore a good habit to get into.”
With over 5,000 people taking part in the parade and 50,000 watching as it made its way through Glasgow City Centre on a busy Saturday afternoon, the march is one of the best ways for community groups, organisations and businesses to show their support to the LGBT+ community.
The Royal Navy was the first defence organisation to join Stonewall as a Diversity Champion in 2005 and is now a top 100 employer in the 2018 Workplace Equality Index. It has continued to develop ties with its LGBT+ workforce through Compass, the Royal Navy’s LGBT+ staff network.
Colonel Tony De Reya, Commanding Officer of 43 Commando Royal Marines, and recently appointed senior diversity advocate at HMNB Clyde attended the parade.
Tony said: “I’m proud to be an ally of COMPASS, the Royal Navy’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification Network group, and I’m delighted to be here at Glasgow Pride, It’s a great event.
“It’s a real privilege to march alongside my Royal Navy and Royal Marines colleagues to celebrate the rich diversity of those who choose to serve across the Royal Navy. For me, this is about sending a message, supporting our people in all their fabulous diversity, harnessing their incredible talent to build brilliant teams and letting those interested in the Royal Navy know this is a great place to work whatever anyone’s gender, sexual orientation, race or ethnic background.”