Play / pause Coming Out/Dismissal

Coming Out/Dismissal

  • Carl Austin-Behan
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon

Transcript

I then got called to OC Admin, to headquarters.

OC Admin with two other people that were in the room

just came out and asked me did I have homosexual tendencies.

A report had been made,

and I just needed to answer the question.

But also during the split second

I had to make a decision, it was a massive decision.

Do I be completely honest and truthful about myself?

Is this the moment of where I can be me

rather than pretending to be something that I wasn't?

So that was the split second where I just decided

that I had to be true to myself.

So yeah, I confirmed.

I burst into tears.

It seemed like hours while this was going on,

and it wasn't, it was literally minutes.

They went and got the sergeant

from the fire station to come over.

They told him that he to make sure

that I was off camp within 20 minutes,

and they were gonna suspend me for six months.

Now they could have quite easily,

'cause back then you could have gone

to military prison for six months,

so they didn't.

They suspended me for six months.

I feel very lucky that I didn't end up in Colchester.

I feel very lucky that they gave me the respect

of letting me go with dignity,

and as I knew from when I first signed up

that it was illegal to be gay in the armed forces,

that I suppose I'd been living on borrowed time

for the whole time that I'd been in.

Yeah it was wrong, but they were the rules and regulations,

and you have to abide by that.

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