Life as a gay soldier topic of library talk

James Wharton1ONE of Britain’s first openly gay soldiers is visiting Eastbourne Library to talk about his experiences and his new book.

James Wharton was the first openly gay person to appear on the front cover of Soldier magazine, the British Army’s official publication, and has worked for several years as a diversity role model for the charity Stonewall.

During his visit to the library, which will coincide with LGBT (lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender) History Month, he will talk about his book Out In The Army: My Life As A Gay Soldier.

He will also be talking about his career in the Army and his work to advance equality for lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people.

Cllr Chris Dowling, East Sussex County Council lead member for community services, said: “This is fascinating opportunity to hear an insight about army life, the challenges and rewards of being one of the first openly gay soldiers and the important work of providing positive role models, particularly for young people.”

Trooper Wharton joined the Army in 2003 and entered the ranks of the Household Cavalry as a member of the elite Blues and Royals.

He has served in Iraq and alongside Prince Harry during training exercises in Canada, and has also played a part in major state occasions including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding.

The event will be held at the library, in Grove Road, on Thursday, February 20 at 7pm.

Tickets, priced £3 including refreshments, are available from the library, by emailing or by calling 0345 6080196 and asking for Eastbourne Library.