A 19-YEAR-old able seaman has shown his support for the LGBT+ community by marching in Pride celebrations.

Tom Mitchell from Croft was among the 200 members of the armed forces that took part in the parade in London.

This year marked 52 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, six years since the UK voted to legalise same-sex marriage and almost 20 years since the ban on LGBT+ serving in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines was lifted.

While the rest of the Pride in London parade came to a halt near Trafalgar Square, the military contingent continued its march to salute the Cenotaph in recognition of the many LGBT+ people who have served in the nation’s forces.

Tom said: "This year was my first time marching in pride with the Royal Navy and it was an incredible experience.

"The atmosphere was buzzing and the crowd cheering us on makes it an incredibly special day.

"People ask us why we do it because there is more acceptance of LGBT+ people in the UK nowadays but there is still a need for it.

"The Royal Navy represents the people of the nation that we serve, and it’s important we show people that the Naval Service is accepting of people whether they’re gay, bi, trans, or straight."

Despite the success of the event, more than one in three LGBT+ people in the UK report having suffered abuse because of their sexuality or gender.

Homosexuality remains illegal in 72 countries and is punishable by death in eight nations.