CAF Story | Pride in the CAF Community

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Master Warrant Office John McDougall: In June of 2013, when I was the Sergeant Major of the Medical Company at 1 Field Ambulance, in Edmonton, it was Pride Week and I had realized that we had never raised the Pride Flag on the base.

Warrant Officer Christine Potvin: Whether you’re a homosexual, heterosexual, transgender, we all want the same thing. We want families, we want to be loved, we want to have a job. We want to be part of the community. There is no difference.

Master Warrant Office John McDougall: My partner and I were one of the very first people to have same-sex benefits in the military. As a matter of fact, on my tour in Bosnia, the CANFORGEN came out that allowed for same-sex benefits. For this man to follow me for 20 years, go through 13 postings, giving up jobs to follow me around. For me to have the opportunity to raise that flag, it’s not just about pride in the military; it’s about pride in the LBGTQ-plus community around each base.

Warrant Officer Christine Potvin: We are there for the people, we are there for our country, and that’s important to me.

Master Warrant Office John McDougall: I submitted a request through my chain-of-command expecting the answer to be: “We’ll have to go to Ottawa, give us a couple of months and we’ll do it next year.” But my remarkably supportive chain-of-command, in three days I had approval, and we had the date set and the base commander was there to raise the flag with us. It was a powerful moment.

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