Our organisation provides the Ministry of Defence with solicited and unsolicited advice to ensure progress is made on necessary measures and activities to promote LGBT+ emancipation. It is important for SHK to be closely involved in the formulation and realization of policy initiatives by the Ministry of Defence. In this way, SHK also fulfils the objective of improving the working an living environment for LGBT+ colleagues within the Ministry of Defence.
In 1974, the Netherlands was the first country in the world to lift the ban on homosexuals serving in the armed forces. The establishment of the “Stichting Homoseksualiteit en Krijgsmacht” (Homosexuality and Armed Forces Foundation) in 1987 was also world news. The foundation originated from a "Homosexuality" working group and was established in 1980 as part of the COC (Cultureel Ontspannings Centrum, Amsterdam).
The foundation received both national and international attention because SHK was the first foundation in the world that wanted to make homosexuality a topic of discussion in the armed forces. The main goals were to create equal rights for LGBT+ employees within the army and for deployed LGBT+ soldiers abroad. The SHK is the oldest network in the world for LGBT+ army personnel.
The name “Stichting Homoseksualiteit en Krijgsmacht” (Homosexuality and Armed Forces Foundation) dates back to 1987, when the SHK actually only stood up for homosexual men within the armed forces. However, this is very different in 2024. The SHK represents all letters from the LGBT+ alphabet. Why then did it continue to use the name SHK? SHK is now an institute within the armed forces and while the full name wears off, the abbreviation remains.
Click on the icons below to watch and listen to the personal stories of LGBT+ employees within the dutch army.