“I’m the type to aspire to command a ship, I’m not the ship’s hairdresser. I was chatting to a civilian the other day who thought all our gay men and women were probably stewards.“
Up until 2008, Craig Jones was possibly the most senior publicly gay member of the military; he came out after 11 years in the service in 2000, on the day gay people were legally allowed to join the forces. As a Royal Navy Lieutenant, he was the lead consultant for the gay community in the armed forces from 2001, and in December 2005 he was appointed an MBE for his contribution to diversity within the Royal Navy, and for his support of gay and lesbian personnel.
“The first couple of years [after the lifting of the ban] were an intense experience. I knew how Custer felt when he was waiting for the cavalry to appear. There were very few people who were out at that time, and to an extent I kind of felt that I carried the aspirations for the policy to succeed on my shoulders.”
And those shoulders needed to be pretty sturdy against the general stereotypes that society offered as the changes came in.
“I’m the type to aspire to command a ship,” he said in 2000. “I’m not the ship’s hairdresser. I was chatting to a civilian the other day who thought all our gay men and women were probably stewards.“ Hardly,”
In 2008, Jones retired his sealegs and moved to Barclay’s Wealth as Global Head of Diversity where he continues to work towards equality for all.