CAF Story | WO Potvin: I was never the target of hate #pridemonth

Video / June 23, 2017


As a woman, joining the military was already a challenge. But as being a gay woman, that was even more of a challenge, because the stigma still existed. They were just starting to turn the page and discrimination was still quite rampant in the military at that point.

My name is Christine Potvin, I am a Warrant Officer, and an OR Tech in the Canadian Forces. I wanted something more active, more involved, more physical. Thought about it, thought about it, and I thought: “The army would be nice.” There was a lot of stigma attached to what being a homosexual is, so I had to be careful when I was younger. So, slowly but surely, I took baby steps at the beginning, of course. For the first maybe ten years, and after that, when all the policies started changing, then, then I took giant steps and it was full opened. And it was well received; there was absolutely never discrimination against me. I was never the target of a hate email or actions; it’s been wonderful, absolutely wonderful.

I’m currently the CSM to a medical company, which means the company sergeant major. We are a high readiness unit here, which means that we deploy a lot, and we train all of the Canadian Forces Medical Services Personnel being deployed. That is a huge challenge and a huge mandate.

It’s been an amazing career, it’s been 28 years of … everything and anything. As I see it, it’s just one chapter of my life closing, unfortunately due to medical reasons, but there’s another chapter opening. My wife and I, we got married on 2013, we’re going to retire together and then spend a lot of time with the grandchildren and children, friends, family and have a lot of fun.

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