Taboo or not taboo: the need for raising awareness of gay and lesbian firefighters is addressed in this FBU view, which argues that there remains a lack of progress in the Service as a whole.(Recruitment)

GAY AND LESBIAN RECRUITMENT and equality hardly dare speak its name in the Fire and Rescue Service. There is an entrenched assumption of heterosexuality and a silence within the Service that are clearly barriers.

The 1999 Thematic review identified sexuality as being a 'taboo' within the Fire Service. Further research in 2003 found that gay firefighters did not feel comfortable coming out at work and this impacted on their sense of self-worth, self-identity and performance.

Negative reactions tend to come from individuals, rather than at Watch level. It can range from social exclusion, to blocking career moves and violence towards property or towards an individual. …

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