We are like a big family at Sefton so since I came out in 2016, my unit has treated me exactly the same as before. Nothing changed and no fuss was made about the subject. It was treated as a normal day-to-day thing.
Speaking to my fellow cadets gave me a huge conﬁdence boost. They offered help and advice on what I should say but I needn’t have worried, as the volunteers made no particular fuss about it, which was really encouraging.
I didn’t want to be treated as special and I didn’t want people to dwell on it too much – although a volunteer did tell me they are proud of me for being who I am and that will always hold a special place in my heart.
Listening to stories from other LGBT people in Sea Cadets can really help young people to ﬁnd the conﬁdence they need to be themselves, which is why I wanted to share my own experience – it might help another person who may be struggling.
I think the amount of support given by Sea Cadets towards the LGBT community is absolutely amazing and should deﬁnitely be recognised. I’ve never heard or seen any homophobic or transphobic language or behaviour, and every single person I’ve spoken to has been supportive.
Through personal experience, I can say that your sexual orientation really doesn’t matter. Try things out, do what you have to do and don’t be afraid to be yourself!
If a cadet decides to come out, let them know it’s OK and doesn’t treat them any differently. Ultimately, they’re still the same person. My parents are very pleased with the support my unit has given and I’m deﬁnitely happier now.
- Niamh, Sefton Sea Cadets