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.”