Online Interview

Welcome to this online interview.  First of all, thank you for your time in helping a very important and special part of our public safety family.   There are police officers, firefighters, and Emergency Medical personnel who are giving themselves every day for the safety and protection of others, and yet, they themselves live in a constant state of fear of being rejected and excluded.   This fear is keeping them from living a full life as they were made to be.  It is a type of sacrifice that no one should be forced to make.

There are several ways to participate in this interview.  Some writers have first answered these questions using a word processing program and then “copied and pasted” their answers into the text box below the question.  You should provide at least one full paragraph for each question (100 words or more). Of course, you can write as much more as you would like. The advantage of using this method is that you can work on answering the questions over time and submit them all when you are ready. Other writers simply typed their answers directly into each box and submit them all at once.  Either method works and we can help with the editing later.  Do not worry about writing style or about being perfect.

Your story is important and I know it may not have been easy for you.  We’ve all traveled a journey that has lead us to become who we are today.  Think about that journey.  Who are the people you met along the way that influenced you?  What historical events happened that shaped your thoughts about who you are?  Your experiences, both good and bad, are equally important.  Your advice and counsel is priceless and may be just what a reader needs to survive.   Remember as you write that readers may be as young as 11 or 12.  This book is not about sharing sexual exploits, but rather about how you worked through your own sexual orientation identification and coming out process.   Readers are really interested in how you overcame any struggles that were involved in coming out and working within the public safety arena.   You should not include the real names of people you write about in a negative way or the names of departments and agencies without their consent.  The names are not really important, but your story is, so take your time and include as much detail as possible.

Thank you for sharing your life and your journey with us and for agreeing to help some of our fellow public safety heroes “come out from behind the badge.”

A. What is your first and last name? (required)

B. What is the best email address for you? (required)

C. Can we use your real name on our website and in our publications?

If you answered "No" enter the name you wish us to use.

D. Briefly describe yourself including age, law enforcement, fire, and or EMS experience, what part of the country you are from and anything else you feel is important to know about you.

1. How did you become interested in law enforcement, firefighting, or the EMS profession?

2. When did you discover you were gay, lesbian, or bi-sexual and what did you think about relative to your interest in law enforcement, firefighting or EMS?

3. Describe your experience getting hired and going through your training academy. Were you out? Did you come out during the academy?

4. What was it like starting off in your department? Did you come out? If not, what kept you, or is currently keeping you from coming out at work?

5. Describe your most difficult situation being gay in your public safety profession.

6. What historical events, people you met, or other experiences impacted you the most? Think about those events or people who helped you come our or who kept you from coming out.

7. What, if anything along your journey, would you have done differently relative to being gay in your profession?

8. One of the important goals of this book is to help fellow gay law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMS professionals and their allies. What advice can you provide to the following people?

8A. A gay teenager who is thinking about the best way to get into your public safety profession.

8B. A fellow public safety professional who is gay, but not out to anyone at work.

8C. An agency executive or manager who is an ally and wants to support gay public safety professionals.

9. What else would you like to say that you feel is most important for readers to know about you or your ideas?

10. Is there anything else you would like to add?

If you would like to upload your story, you may do so here. Please be sure your document is in PDF format.

By checking this box, I authorize Out To Protect Inc. to print the contents of this online interview on the Internet or in print and I release all rights to this material to Out To Protect Inc. for their use.

Thank you for your time and contribution. You can print a copy of your interview using the print button on the lower right corner of this page. Please review your responses before pressing Send below.

Complete this verification and press submit.