Sunday 7 August 2011
Amsterdam Pride: Head of Navy's LGBT forum visits
At Amsterdam's LGBT Pride parade on the Prinsengracht canal on Saturday (Aug 6), uniformed Members of the Netherlands defence forces including Navy joined in for the first time.
At the parade was Lieutenant Commander Mandy McBain, the 51st most influential figure in Britain in the Independent on Sunday's LGBT 'Pink List.'
In 1974 the Netherlands made it legal to be openly gay in the military. The UK was far slower. However, as McBain reports, after the bin was lifted in 2000 big progress is now being made.
As part of the navy for 24 years, she's seen a major turnaround. Ships now carrying Equality and Diversity Advisers and LGBT naval personnel marching every year at London Pride, in uniform.
McBain joined the Navy in 1986 as a Writer and went to Britannia Royal Naval College in 1989. She didn't initially know she was lesbian, and later kept it quiet until the ban was lifted. A Logistics Officer, her roles have included being a member of the Admiralty Interview Board and the spokesperson for European forces in Bosnia.She heads the Navy's LGBT Forum (established 2008).
Mandy McBain photo:Steven Joseph Davidson.See an online interview by g3 magazine. Watch her great talk - we can make it happen - at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLZQGaMqUAw