Fort Worth Is Recruiting Gay Cops, and They Won't Even Be Openly Harassed by Colleagues
The Fort Worth Police Department has come a long way since 2009, when it marked the 40th anniversary of the landmark Stonewall riots, sparked by the ill-conceived, poorly executed raid of a New York gay bar, by conducting an ill-conceived, poorly executed raid of the Rainbow Lounge. The department reprimanded multiple officers, appointed an LGBT liaison officer, and began partnering with the local gay community, while the City Council, led by gay Councilman Joel Burns, passed a sweeping anti-discrimination ordinance.
Kudos to Fort Worth PD for the progress. Kudos also for the efforts to actively recruit LGBT officers by letting an openly gay detective share his story on YouTube. Yet somehow the video fails to persuade that Fort Worth PD, in its culture if not its policy, is quite ready to embrace the gay community.
Maybe it's the snide air quotes when Detective Chris Gorrie identifies himself as one of the "diverse" cops asked by recruiters to share his story, or the caveat -- "It kind of makes me wonder sometimes, 'What do they say when I'm not there?'" -- when he says he's never been openly harassed at work. Or maybe it's his general embrace of a don't-ask-don't-tell approach to working with colleagues.
In any case, it's hardly a ringing endorsement.