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Video: Brave Palm Springs Lesbian Police Officers on Coming Out at Work

Video: Brave Palm Springs Lesbian Police Officers on Coming Out at Work

We would like to take a moment to thank the very brave lesbian police officers of the city of Palm Springs for their honest disclosure regarding workplace insecurities. Striving to feel equal while on duty is the last thing a police officer wants to think about while running after a perpetrator or pulling over an armed suspect. Unfortunately, the uncomfortable questions, stares and feelings involved do not always know the appropriate time to pop up.

We would like to take a moment to thank the very brave lesbian police officers of the city of Palm Springs for their honest disclosure regarding workplace insecurities. Striving to feel equal while on duty is the last thing a police officer wants to think about while running after a perpetrator or pulling over an armed suspect. Unfortunately, the uncomfortable questions, stares and feelings involved do not always know the appropriate time to pop up.

The Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism estimates that 40 percent of the town’s population is within the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender community. The current LGBT population in Palm Springs is thought to be about seven times the national average – beating out the gay mecca of San Francisco. Of the 89 sworn officers at the Palm Springs Police Department, four currently serve as openly lesbian.

Police officer Omar Gomez shared with The Desert Sun, “When you come out of the closet, you've come to the point in your life where you can say, ‘Yes, I am gay.' But even then, you just may not be ready to come out at work. It's still an internal struggle. In the back of your mind, even though you may be comfortable where you are at work, if you get transferred you wonder, ‘will I be accepted there?' It's a big gamble.”

Palm Springs officer Amanda Graham shared that the opposite was true for her at work. “I've been out since I got hired [two years ago]. I've been completely comfortable from the beginning and have brought out my partner to events just like everyone else since I got here.” Graham continued, “I've met people who feel a lot more comfortable in giving me a report because they know I'm a lesbian.”

Is it easier for lesbian cops to serve openly versus their male counterparts? “They [the other officers] were the ones that tried to initiate the conversation with me, introducing me to their gay friends and just trying to show that they'd be supportive,” Officer Nancy Carr said. “So once the cat was out of the bag, so to speak, it wasn't an issue.”

The Desert Sun ran a great article yesterday with text and video interviews including lesbian police officers and their co-workers. We chose a couple of the videos to share with you here. 

 

You can read the entire story via The Desert Sunhere.

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Sarah Toce