Clandestine existences and secret research: eliminating official discrimination in the canadian military and going public in academia.

Published: January 16, 2012


The 1990s was a notable decade for lesbians and gays in the Canadian military. Two important changes were the 1992 elimination of the official policy permitting discrimination against homosexual service members, and the 1996 introduction of benefits to same-sex partners. These changes radically influenced the psychological day-to-day reality of lesbian and gay military members. Yet, given the military culture, lesbian and gay members only began to come out in significant numbers at the turn of the century. This article presents an overview of our experience with researching the history of lesbians and gays in the Canadian military during the late 1990s and early years of the new century. It reveals the early clandestine nature of our research, and recounts some of the trials, tribulations, resistance, and successes we encountered when dealing with ethics boards and funding sources. It also describes our relationship with the media and how the military actively took steps to stall our efforts. We draw parallels between our experiences as researchers, and those of the lesbian service-members we were interviewing.

Full text of article available at link below –

Leave a Reply