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RBL launches LGBTQ+ Branch

The launch of the new branch comes 19 years since the ban on gay and bisexual people serving in the UK Armed Forces was lifted. The LGBTQ+ and Allies Branch will be the Royal British Legion’s first ever LGBTQ+ branch and aims to recognise and remember the contribution of the LGBTQ+ community to the British Armed Forces.

With no other veteran organisation specifically for the LGBTQ+ community, RBL hope the new branch will help tackle isolation and build connections in our communities, and act as a safe space for people from across the LGBTQ+ community to share experiences and support the work of the Legion.

Emma Miller-McCaffrey and her wife Ann Miller-McCaffrey, who is currently serving in the Royal Navy, are both founding members of the branch. “There are many people who historically have not been treated appropriately by the military, and those who support them and their families, due to the laws of the land," Emma says. “But that has now changed and, just as the military now shows off its inclusivity as a service, the RBL are now also in a position to remind people that they are there to support all who served, regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation, and the launch of this branch is the perfect way to start doing that.”

Sue Coleman, who is the branch membership officer, joined to support people in the Armed Forces who identify as LGBTQ+. "I joined as a way of supporting our Armed Forces who identify as LGBTQ+ , a large part of our diverse community who may not feel they’re eligible for support due to a less than positive service," she says. "Every service person is important and should be made to feel so."

Source: Royal British Legion