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Military Pride Goes International

International collaboration on best practices for LGBTI personnel gathers momentum as armed forces around the world seek to learn from one another.

The group called "Armed Forces Pride" that collaborates via Facebook is shaping up to be the forum that will connect military LGBTI equality, diversity and inclusion networks from around the globe.

The group had it’s first international conference in 2009. The coalition of the willing consisted back then of the following 5 countries: The Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Denmark and the United Kingdom.

The group's Facebook page launched one year ago in August 2014. It’s online membership has increased to over 170 participants from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Macedonia, Montenegro, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Amin Michel is a lead member of the group and founded the NATO+ Committee on LGBTIQ Perspectives, the Dutch Armed Forces LGBTIQ-Straight Alliance and the Dutch Government Pride.

"The forum is a global source for news, dialogue and most importantly exchange of best practice on how to promote LGBTIQ inclusion and equality in the international Armed Forces," said Michel.

Information about upcoming international military LGBTI conferences, research and collaboration opportunities are shared amongst group members.

Members share public information, policy, research, vacancies and educational resources as they become available to reduce overall effort required to raise the level of inclusion in military forces.

The group expects to co-ordinate its first telephone dialogue over the next few months and hopes to meet face-to-face at one of the upcoming international military diversity & inclusion conferences.

The next opportunity to meet is likely to be in 2016 in The Netherlands at the next scheduled NATO+ LGBT Working Group.

The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies Report produced in 2014 - LGBT Military Personnel: A Strategic Vision for Inclusion indexed the LGBTI inclusion in international military forces in 2014. Australia weighed up in fifth position, trailing behind New Zealand (in first place), the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Sweden.

DEFGLIS has been a participant in Armed Forced Pride since the formation of the group on Facebook.

All personnel associated with furthering LGBTI inclusion in international armed forces are invited to join.

Pictured above: Members of Armed Forces Pride at the informal NATO+ LGBT Working Group held in Stockholm, Sweden in August 2014

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About the Author
Author: Vince Chong
Vince is the President of DEFGLIS. He is a project manager and an electronics engineer.
Also written by this author:

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