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(18,421 posts)
Sat Feb 1, 2014, 04:45 AM Feb 2014

Openly Gay Soldier James Wharton To Be Honored [View all]

Former British soldier James Wharton, who wrote the best-selling autobiography Out In The Army about his life in the military after he came out to his buddies, is being awarded the distinguished Freedom of the City of London. The award is an historic honor dating back to medieval times, when serfs were rewarded their freedom for their extraordinary deeds. In modern times, the honor is given to “persons of distinction and persons who have rendered eminent services to the local area.”

Wharton is being recognized for his work to curb bullying – specifically the bullying of gay kids, something the former lance corporal has some experience with. He was badly beaten with a metal pipe by a fellow-soldier who was court martialed and sent to prison for the crime.

Wharton said of the announcement:

“I’m honored to be awarded such an historic accolade and I accept the Freedom of the City with great humility. I find it incredible that, in the space of 45 years, we have gone from criminalizing gay people to awarding and recognizing the contribution that we make to British society.”



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