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Out In The Army: My Life As A Gay Soldier Hardcover – 18 Jun 2013

116 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Biteback Publishing; First Edition edition (18 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849545405
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849545402
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 13.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 289,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

James Wharton's memoir of his life in the British Army is a stunning read. He trains to become one of those dazzling, shining cavalry troopers in the Blues and Royals, escorting and guarding the monarch, patiently sitting on their mounts as tourists photograph and giggle. But the Blues and Royals are no mere chocolate soldiers; they are deployed to Iraq like any other member of the military. It is while serving that Wharton finds the extra courage to come out and declare that he is gay. The consequences, both good and appalling, are written about without sentiment or self-pity. A wonderful, stirring and thrilling read. I laughed, wept and winced and closed the book filled with admiration at such courage and grace. --Stephen Fry

This acutely observed account of rocket attacks, scorpion bites and blistering heat populated by mates such as Shagger, Smudge and Scoffy could have been written a hundred years ago. It's the coming-out story, a gay wedding and a boyfriend who runs off with a vegan that make it a highly readable and distinctly twenty-first-century boy's own tale. --Ben Summerskill OBE

Out in the Army is the most moving book I have recently read. James Wharton is such a direct and honest writer that he brings you to the verge of tears not only when you expect him to but when you don't. His love of Queen and country, his husband and his family all come off the printed page and into your heart. --Paul Gambaccini

Out in the Army is a truly unique look at a soldier's journey from boy to man, from Wales to war. I couldn't put it down. --Anthony Cotton

A fascinating and charming insight into a remarkable life that wouldn't have been possible just a few years ago. --Matthew Cain, Culture Editor, Channel 4 News

An extraordinary story which is a mark of our changing times, Out in the Army is an inspiring read from start to finish. --Matthew Todd, ATTITUDE

[A] heartfelt account of a gay man's journey from recruit to veteran, as well as a non-judgemental appraisal of an institution's efforts to move with the times. On both counts it is a worthwhile read. --Soldier Magazine

A deeply moving and personal insight into life in the army. A story of bravery, love and victory. James we salute you. --Alice Arnold

[A] heartfelt account of a gay man's journey from recruit to veteran, as well as a non-judgemental appraisal of an institution's efforts to move with the times. On both counts it is a worthwhile read. --Herts Advertiser

A deeply moving and personal insight into life in the army. A story of bravery, love and victory. James we salute you. --Alice Arnold

About the Author

James Wharton was one of the first 'out' soldiers in the armed forces and was the first openly gay person to appear on the front cover of Soldier magazine, the British Army's official publication.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Martin Belcher VINE VOICE on 14 July 2013
Format: Hardcover
James Wharton's memoir of his life in the British Army, coming out and his subsequent experiences as a gay soldier makes for an absolutely riveting read. From first experiences of being 'different' growing up in a small town in north Wales to joining the Blues & Royals regiment and being stationed in central London and taking part in regular royal duties such as the state opening of parliament, trooping the colour and a royal wedding. Seeing the the Queen at first hand and meeting the Prime Minister at no 10! Wharton takes us on a no holds barred journey of discovery, not only of his own sexuality but of the consequences of coming out amongst the British Army, still seen as one of the most homophobic of institutions. After some initial bullying and homophobia, Wharton finds the army and his regiment accepting of his sexuality in a way he could never have imagined. He details some very scary moments whilst on tour in Iraq and some laugh out loud moments on exercise in Canada working along side none other than Lieutenant Wales (Prince Harry to you and me). He finally enters into a civil partnership with the love of his life Thom and uses his new found media popularity to campaign in schools against homophobic bullying.

I absolutely loved this book, I smiled, laughed, got angry and filled up with emotions. Just like myself and thousands of other gay men & women, I can understand the journey Wharton has taken and the homophobia that you have to combat in your life, luckily this is getting less and I guess we are extremely lucky to live in Great Britain one of the most free and tolerant countries in the world. I highly recommend this book whatever your sexuality, it is a memoir of a vivid and rich experience and James Wharton should be extremely proud of himself. Wonderful.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amibovered on 21 Aug. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I never really had a role model before to look up to when I came out, but this not only provided that, it makes you see how far as a nation we have come. I have had the fortunate privilege of meeting James once or twice when I was at Student Pride and along with his husband they were both very nice to speak to and get along with. Being that what James has chosen to write in the book is now public information makes you aware that if you want something then you are going to have to fight for it no matter what. I have heard some say that he only mentioned prince harry in the book because he is attention seeking. Not the case at all! Everyone has a story to tell and if that is who is involved then so be it. Although we like to strive for perfection, the book points out that we are all by no means perfect, but we strive to be everyday. Everyone has a background, past and event that they are not proud and sometimes do not want people to see. It takes someone who is strong and has courage to say/write what he has done in his book. This is the first book in a long time that I have read and at one point read for so long and it was 2AM. It is definitely worth a read and to see what this man single headedly has done for the Army, Nation and equality for all people in the LGBT community.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Curtis Jackson on 22 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
James Wharton writes from the heart with a frank and sometimes jaw dropping recollection of his time in the army. His continued fight for equality is both heart warming and saddening at the same time, saddening in the way that equality is a fight and not a right.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mr G J Cunningham on 21 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
James what a fantastic book downloaded it to my Kindle and could not put it down read the whole book in an evening.

I hope this will encourage others to come out and not hide in the closet
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Creighton on 12 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is very refreshing to read a gay man story where he includes even his faults on the pages. There is no lies here.
I was made aware of Mr Wharton some years ago by a artist here in Sydney (Australai) Ross who was doing his portrait.
Even Elton John gets in on the story.
Mr Wharton's story is told with such honesty. So much is taken for granted these days,(Internet/social media) that we sometimes do forget that some people have never heard of 'Gaydar'and 'Grinder'. The authors innosense is his own inner strength.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By SueF on 17 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is as truly inspiring read.
Not only is it very well written and therefore totally engaging..... it also tells the story very honestly and respectfully.
I bought the book after seeing a recommendation from a friend of mine - I feel this is a book we can ALL learn from and therefore wholeheartedly recommend you read it.
I would love to read the next chapter of James' life and expect that it will continue to be full of love and maturity.
Thank you for sharing your story x
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By darren hendleman on 19 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I couldn't put this book down. As an ex forces member and a gay man, I wasn't as lucky in my military days to be the person I wanted to be. Therefore this book reminded me of myself a lot... James has taken us inside the military to show the great lengths they have taken to recognise that soldiers (or airmen or sailors) can do a great job no matter what their sexuality. It also showed that the cracks are still there in which old prejudices still appear. His finding of his partner, their trials and tribulations are both warming and funny, and you cant help but be thrilled at their civil partnership and their future together. The book is well written, paced well and also reminds us of the amazing work that all our servicemen and women do both at home and abroad. The characters are colourful, interesting and you get to know them very well. A great read, very enjoyable and also moving.
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