Proud @ NATO banquet at a British Residency in Brussels

KET had the honour to talk with Dylan White, deputy spokesperson of NATO and a chair of Proud @ NATO staff resource group. This is what he told us about last month’s remarkable event in the heart of Brussels:

“Proud @ NATO was officially recognised as NATO’s first official staff resource group in 2021. The aim of the group is to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace for LGBTQI+ staff, providing opportunities for personal and professional development. Since last year, we have held several conferences and events with hundreds of participants that gained even some media attention in Europe (including a pathetic smear by Russian state television), and as far afield as Argentina.

As the NATO Secretary General told our first conference, “Diversity and inclusion is at the heart of who we are and what we do. We are an alliance of 30 nations working together to protect our people and our values: freedom, equality and human rights. Drawing on all resources and all experiences makes us stronger, and better equipped to face the future.” NATO was also a world leader in recognising same-sex marriage, extending equal spousal benefits to same-sex couples in July 2002, at a time when the Netherlands was the only country to recognise same-sex marriage.”

On 17 November, it was an honour to be hosted at the UK Residence in Brussels by the UK Permanent Representative to NATO, David Quarrey, and his partner Aldo Henriquez, for Proud @ NATO’s latest event. At the event, the participants have agreed that they need to build on their growing sense of community and continue creating space for LGBTQI+ people to thrive at all levels in NATO.