Since the post I made last week where I had written how I had been in turmoil over the current state of affairs, I have recieved numerous messages to comment about being in law enforcement as an LGBTQ+ person. With the constant anxiety of politics, the Covid crisis, and repeated instances of blatant racism rearing its ugly head, I have been going through a gamut of emotions. I specially have a hard time getting through my days without thinking of the pain the law enforcement community has inflicted upon people of color in this country.
I have had so much I wanted to say but felt it really wasn’t a time I should be speaking right now. The privilege I am afforded allowed me a voice not afforded to the ones we should be listening to at this point in time. I am open to listening to the many people hurting because this is their time to be heard. In this time it is my duty to be there to support and lift them up due to the injustices they suffer, and to pledge to be with them till we find an end to the inequalities they endure.
In 1969 the Stonewall Riots began out of frustration with the constant harassment of the LBGTQ+ community by the cops. When I was in the process of being hired by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office 21 years ago, it amazed me how much progress had been made in the 30 years since those Stonewall Riots. Here I was, an openly proud gay man, applying to become a Deputy Sheriff for one of the most progressive cities in America. Yet here I am today perplexed that any progress that had been made over the past 51 years is being shredded to pieces.
I will always condemn the unlawful actions of any law enforcement officer because we are supposed to be able to be trusted to do what is right and just. I’ve had the oppinion for a long time that the law enforcement community needs to make some major changes to help create a better working relationship with the public. I’ve also been a huge advocate for allocating a lot more funding back to schools, after school programs (music, art, sports), and communtiy programs as a way to help curb the effects of poverty and crime. I don’t think any of those things are out of line with what is going on currently. I would love to see a day in this world when my job is no longer needed but unfortunately there have always been and will always be some very horrible people in this world who do not follow the laws needed to protect the inocent.
I didn’t take this job lightly. It came with a lot of responsibility, not only to the community at large, but a distinctive responsibility to be an ambassador for my LGBTQ+ family. I have always conducted myself professionally, with integrity, and beyond reproach in my line of duty. That is why it pains me so much to see so many of my so called friends turn their back on me at just the time when we should be working together. Please know that whether or not you respect what I do for a living, I stand with you all to make the changes we need to have justice and equality for all people in this country. The upcoming days, months, years, will undoubtedly be a time of great change as we eradicate the systemic racism inherent in the ways our society functions. I am all too happy to be part of that change and vow to do whatever I am able to do to make this country more equitable for all people. My only request is that you don’t reduce me to another person in a uniform.