The holidays are here and the end of 2016 is fast approaching. This has been an exciting year for Out To Protect starting with the release of the 2nd edition of “Coming Out From Behind The Badge,” We awareded a scholarships to Zachary Johnson, Casey Williams, and Conner Callahan and a training grant to New England GOAL in celebration of their 25th anniversary. We were thrilled to travel back to Boston to celebrate with over 300 members of the New England Gay Officers Action League.
As this post-election period unfolds, it’s clear that fear about what the future holds for the LGBT community is great. What will really happen when the new president takes office is still unclear and is largely speculation, but all of the signs are pointing to a climate where discrimination against non-heterosexuals and transgender people will expand and may even be codified into a law masked by a “religious freedom” title. Many of the civil rights gains from the last 8 years for LGBT people are at risk and all of this potential is frightening.
We know that being visible and “out” will continue to be the most powerful way to change hearts and minds. In law enforcement, the need for LGBT awareness education will only increase in a social and political environment that is increasingly oppressive. We are stepping up our commitment to combating homophobia within law enforcement by developing a new online LGBT awareness training program for law enforcement officers. Individuals will be able to take our class from anywhere in the country. Those who complete it successfully will have a better understanding of sexual orientation, gender identity, hate crimes detection, and strategies for better connecting with the LGBT community. We also intend on promoting more in-person training with our panels and individual speakers. And of course, we will continue providing scholarships to support LGBT recruits and training grants to help departments deliver LGBT awareness training for those who serve our community.
We need your help. Our work is funded entirely by individual donations from people like you. All of the labor to operate our organization is voluntary, which means that 100% of your donation goes to the delivery of services and scholarships. As you consider your end of the year donations, please invest in our work. Know that every dollar you contribute goes directly to supporting LGBT people in law enforcement. Become a sustaning donor by contributing an amount each month, automatically, and enjoy a full tax deduction for your gift.
Thank you for supporting the future of law enforcement and helping us to make law enforcement a better place for LGBT people.
Greg Miraglia, President and CEO
Out To Protect