I am Not a Woman

04-197208XX 03After a happy ending to a court appeal, a serving soldier, James Heath, aged 22, whose home is in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, now has to face a Court Martial for allegedly committing ‘unnatural practices’ with 27 year old Carlos D’Almeida. As the law stands at present it is still an offence for a member of H.M. Armed Forces to have anything but strict heterosexual relationships (thus explaining the Armed Forces encouragement of serving men to take full advantage of female prostitutes in the area in which they are stationed). These regulations are stringently enforced in the ranks, although many attachments between officers are generally tolerated if the parties involved are discreet enough about it.

The seemingly happy ending occurred at Aylesbury Crown Court where Carlos D’Almeida appealed successfully against a deportation order, recommended by High Wycombe magistrates on June 7, six months after he was refused entry to this country from Singapore.

The story really begins in Singapore in the June of last year, where James Heath was stationed with the Army. He was introduced to Carlos one evening as a woman and to continue in James’s own words: “We met in a discotheque, and during the evening Mr. D’Almeida told me: ‘I am sorry. I am not all I appear to be.’ I laughed, thinking that it was a normal woman’s reply meaning that she was not an easy pick-up. I was still laughing and then he said: ‘I am not a woman.’

In court James went on to say that they lived together for six months in Singapore, and this year he introduced Carlos to his parents as his fiancée. “We were hoping to get married,” he added.

According to the London Evening Standard, Carlos has now ‘won the chance to discover whether he is a man or a woman after a soldier revealed his affection for him.’ Unfortunately for the couple, the Army has now stepped in and their private lives face further interference and unhappiness because of James’s court martial.

The whole case is now sub judice and apparently The Sun newspaper is being sued by one of the parties involved. Knowing the treatment given to similar ‘delicate’ subjects by that paper, it is not surprising that this should be happening to them.

We of Gay News are not quite sure at this stage of the proceedings what possible help we might be able to give James and Carlos, but we certainly wish them well and hope that they will eventually have a lasting ‘happy ending’ together.

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