What is it like being a gay cop you ask… well maybe you didn’t ask but you were wondering perhaps, just a little . Well at my stage of life and career it just seems normal but it wasn’t always that way. When I first decided to go into law enforcement back in about 1985 it was a lot different. I was out to a few of my straight friends and a some in my family but absolutely no one around the police department. It was kind of like living the proverbial double life. I came to work and didn’t talk about my personal life and when I meet people in my gay world I was very careful about telling them I was a cop. If I ever did I usually didn’t tell them where I worked. I became very good at keeping the two sides of my life separated.
Even though I always feared that somehow work would find I was gay and my world would crumble, it didn’t stop me from going out to the bars or having relationships. I was quite active back in the late eighty’s and did a lot of clubbing. I was involved with in my relationship with Steve and although we lived together for about seven years off and on, it was never a very strong relationship. It was not a monogamous affair with both of us seeing other guys.
They did my background to be hired as a full time officer while I was with Steve. I got reports from some of the people the background investigator was talking to and they told me the questions seemed very probing into my sexuality. Well I got hired anyway. I guess I picked good references.
As time went on at work I began to realize that some of my coworkers were guessing or had figured out that I was gay. I know a couple of the older more senior guys were talking about it and making jokes and remarks around the office but no one ever said anything to my face. I was a very good officer and wasn’t know for game playing so I think people respected me none the less. Since I never brought it up or flaunted it in their faces they just accepted it or it was ignored.
Time went on and the old timers retired. Now I am the old timer and over the last several years things have changed. Perhaps the most significant change was when we got a new Chief. Our prior chief was pretty much worthless. He did little to better the department and in many ways was very much a detriment. The City had a leadership change and I guess he saw the writing on the wall; he retired. Our Lieutenant was promoted to Chief and the rebuilding of the department began. He is a very fair and honest man and a damn good cop. I have know him a very long time he was aware I am gay and he also knew my partner. He made it a point to make me comfortable and to always include my partner in the same way he would the spouse or significant other of any officer.
Well that’s about it in a nutshell… (okay, maybe a coconut shell)… I now talk openly about my partner but I still don’t cram anything down their throats. If they ask I am happy to tell them anything they want to know. Life it good and I am conformable.