Enjoy cricket or hockey? Guess What? You may be a lesbian!
Declassified information has revealed how the British Royal Air Force (RAF) forced supposed lesbians to have medical treatments to ‘cure’ their ‘perversion’.
Commanders were told watch out for airwomen who enjoyed hockey, cricket, or spent an unusual amount of time telephoning or writing other female comrades. These were seen as possible signs of attraction to other women. Commanders were also discouraged from recruiting women with ‘masculine characteristics’. (Whatever that means.)
Historically, homosexuality was outlawed in Wales and England until 1967. A ban on homosexuals (both male and female) from serving in the armed forces was finally lifted in 2000. But, before that, if you were homosexual and in the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF), you were considered mentally ill and had to undergo psychological treatment.
‘A Special Problem’, a 1950s briefing paper for officers, stated: “No one can really help another person to steer clear of the dangers of homosexuality unless she herself believes it morally wrong and has a definite notion why. For the unfortunate persons suffering from deeper abnormality psychological treatment is very often helpful. But, remember, it can only be useful if the patient has sufficient insight to wish to be cured. For the fortunately rare cases of perverted practice or attempted corruption of other women by talk or example, discharge from the service would be the only course.”
Furthermore, officers were told to keep watch for female recruits who ’tend to become a focus of undesirable attention from other women’.
13 women were dismissed for homosexuality in 1955. In 1970, 60 were barred from serving their country just for being “supposedly” gay.
A former WRAF recruit, who was based out of Lancashire in the 1960s, recalled the ‘shocking’ intensity of investigations into suspected lesbians.
“The police arrived unannounced and commandeered rooms from which to spy on suspects. Few people knew what was going on and if they asked, they were told something evil was being sorted out.”
Something evil, indeed. You wouldn’t want lesbians serving, after all. Think of the horror....hmmm....wait give me a minute to think of the....nope....can’t really think of anything that could go that wrong, actually.
It is important to look at our history as a culture, as a people, as a society, and ask ourselves, as we laugh at the past and think, ‘how silly we were to have acted in such a way’ (even though we acted this way as late as the 1990s, in which the WRAF kept an ‘observation list’ of females suspected to have homosexual inclinations) we must look to the present and take that same microscope and dissect our behavior as a collective consciousness in the here and now. For we all know, if we don’t learn from our past, we are destined to repeat it.
Hopefully, one day (soon) we can look back and laugh and wonder why we gave homosexuals such a hard time about allowing them to have a legal marriage, why we made it so difficult for loving couples to adopt children that so desperately need a home, and why we insisted that homosexuality wasn’t something innate in people, but yet, a “choice” they made.