Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

Policeman: Coming out and finding balance
by Micki Leventhal
2010-07-01

This article shared 5845 times since Thu Jul 1, 2010
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


It took Chicago police officer GV some searching to find himself, but at age 37 and being a 10-year veteran of the force, he's happy and secure in his work and his life. And, his early struggles at self-acceptance have likely contributed to the officer's sunny disposition, gentle energy and appreciation of other's viewpoints.

GV is on the planning committee for the 14th Annual International LGBT Conference for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Professionals taking place in Chicago June 22-27. He's organizing the public social event at The Baton show lounge on June 25, selling ads in the program booklet and selling tickets to the several conference events that are open to the public.

Married and a father at 17, the Chicago native grew up "mostly" in Little Village and graduated high school from John F. Kennedy in Garfield Ridge. His first marriage lasted "just under three years," as did his second marriage, a relationship he entered at "roughly 23 or 24," and which produced another son and a daughter. "My second marriage ended because I had finally accepted myself and who I was and what I wanted in life," explained GV, who had dated men between the two heterosexual unions. "I felt as though it wouldn't be fair to her to live her life with me. I couldn't give her what she wanted or needed. It was better for her to find somebody else."

After his second divorce, GV decided it was time to come out to his family. Being gay "was a feeling I had growing up, but I didn't know how to deal with it. But after my second divorce something just told me to accept who I am and at that point I decided to call each of my four brothers and my sister. One by one I told them I wanted to meet up with them in person," he said. "That same day I told each of them that I'm gay and accept who I am. All of them were shocked; some were difficult and some were easy.

"I finally told my mom. She had a hard time, she cried. But she always used to tell me that the most important thing for her as a mom is that her kids are happy and I reminded her of that. And I explained to her that I am happy; I've accepted myself and feel at ease and comfortable now. I've never told my dad, he's very old-fashioned. I think he knows, but we just pretend."

During the years that he was dealing with both the challenges of young parenthood and grappling with his sexual orientation, GV started college at Roosevelt University, moved on to Daley College and "somehow ended up at Malcolm X College taking a phlebotomy course and an EMT ( Emergency Medical Tech ) class." This led to a job at Cook County [ now Stroger ] Hospital.

GV entered the police academy in 2001. "I was never really interested in being a police officer, which is weird. I was working as an EMT and waiting to take the firefighter exam, but the police exam came up," he said. A friend in the police department who was moonlighting at County talked up a career as a police officer. "I took the exam. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made," he said. He even returned to college after joining the force, earning a 2007 bachelor's degree in law enforcement management from Calumet College.

GV did his first year on the force training in the 5th district in the far south Pullman/Roseland area. He was then assigned to his current district—the 10th—which covers the North Lawndale and Little Village communities on the West Side.

It wasn't until after a few years into his career and because of a serious, live-in relationship that GV came out to his co-workers. "I brought my boyfriend to a party. I was proud that I had him in my life and I introduced him around as my boyfriend." While co-workers expressed surprise, they were all accepting.

After he'd come out on the job, GV took the step of becoming a member of LGPA/GOAL-Chicago and has been attending meetings and events since "about 2006." The work of the organization is important to him; his two top priorities are the continued fight for equal partnership benefits such as pension for LGBT officers and better diversity/sensitivity training in the academy and beyond. "Officers are not adequately trained in how to deal with our community, we need more diversity and sensitivity training," he said.

While better LGBT diversity training is a priority for GV, he nevertheless believes that all officers have a duty to "treat everyone equally—gay, straight, Black, white—every citizen should be treated the same and get the same good service," he said. "Being a police officer and being a gay man are two separate things, like any career. If you're an architect your job is to be a good architect. If you're a police officer, you perform your assigned responsibilities, being a gay man does not make a difference. Although, if we respond to a call dealing with issues in the community we can probably relate better, but I can't say that a straight officer is not going to relate well. Being a gay man as a police officer is just a plus."

GV recently took a temporary administrative assignment in his district office, covering for a fellow officer who is on medical leave. "The 10th district is what we call an active and busy area," explained GV. "Sometimes we get out of roll call you have three or four calls waiting for you, especially in the summertime. It might be a burglary report or criminal damage. Our jobs and services are prioritized. If it's a domestic battery or an in-progress, we go to it immediately, but if it's just a report that needs to be filed, they are what we call stacked. Every job is important, but people need to realize that if there's an immediate threat or danger that's when we go, lights and sirens. I do miss the street and I'm looking forward to getting back there."

GV lives by himself in the Brighton Park neighborhood, but has recently gotten into a relationship that is "pretty serious" and he's very happy. He is also working to get more balance in his life. "I used to work a second job as a Chicago Public School security officer, but I changed that. I needed more time to myself." He talks to his three children—now 19, 14 and 13—every day and weekends include face time with all of them. Spending time with the new boyfriend, training for his second Chicago marathon, working out at the gym, socializing with friends over dinner, movies or bowling and some downtime "on the couch" round out the off- duty hours.

GV also loves to travel and goes on at least one good vacation a year. He's been to Spain and especially enjoyed Costa Rica, where he white-water rafted and zip-lined. He's also spent quality time on a variety of beaches in Mexico, adding, "I love the sun." This year a group of friends are considering Belize, and there will definitely be a trip to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Life lived in the open appears to agree with Officer GV.

Note: Article edited Sept. 15, 2015


This article shared 5845 times since Thu Jul 1, 2010
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

NATIONAL Texas court, police chief, Gentili memorial, Philly controversy 2024-02-09
- The Texas Supreme Court heard oral arguments challenging Senate Bill 14, the ban on gender-affirming care that went into effect last September, KERA reported. SB 14 blocks trans minors from accessing gender-affirming medical care, such as ...


Gay News

Seattle LGBTQ+ bars push back against raids 2024-01-30
- In Seattle, a group of Capitol Hill gay bars and clubs are teaming with neighborhood queer community leaders Dan Savage and Terry Miller in calling for the state's liquor control board and Seattle police officials to ...


Gay News

Teen suspect arrested in killing of gay dancer 2023-08-05
- The New York Police Department arrested a suspect in the fatal stabbing of 28-year-old O'Shae Sibley, who was attacked last weekend at a Brooklyn gas station. According to The Advocate, Sibley, a professional dancer, had been ...


Gay News

WORLD Marielle Franco, trans student dies, Iranian official, 'Drag Race' 2023-08-04
- Brazilian Justice Minister Flavio Dino announced a plea agreement with one of two police officers accused of assassinating Rio de Janeiro councilwoman Marielle Franco, a Black lesbian and human-rights activist who was killed by gunfire from ...


Gay News

Prime Minister Trudeau condemns Canadian university stabbings 2023-07-01
- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the June 28 stabbings of a professor and two students in a gender-studies class at the University of Waterloo after police revealed the motive was hate-related, calling it "heinous violence," ...


Gay News

WORLD Australia case, Turkey march, Elton John, Mexico City, China 2023-06-30
- In Australia, the judge overseeing an inquiry examining the 30-year-old unsolved murder of former AC/DC manager Crispin Dye criticized New South Wales (NSW) Police after the revelation of explosive evidence in the case, The Advocate noted. ...


Gay News

What's the latest with CPD's LGBTQ+ liaisons? WCT talks with a CPD deputy director 2023-06-18
- Two years ago, Windy City Times talked with the Chicago Police Department's (CPD's) Deputy Director of Community Policing Mike Milstein and then-citywide liaison Bernard Escamilla about the city's LGBTQ+ liaisons for the CPD. Since the ...


Gay News

Violent clash takes place at Calif. school-board meeting over LGBTQ+ rights 2023-06-07
- On June 6, protesters clashed and fights erupted outside a meeting of the Glendale Unified School District board, which was scheduled to vote on recognizing June as Pride Month, ABC7 reported. After the skirmishes, police in ...


Gay News

Illinois middle-school teacher loses job for promoting 'This Book Is Gay' 2023-05-18
- Making This Book Is Gay available to her eighth-grade students resulted in Illinois teacher Sarah Bonner being reported to police—and eventually losing her job, according to an item from The Advocate. According to Today.com, Bonner (who ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Gun control, San Francisco, trans-rights bill, Portland police, Roxane Gay 2023-05-05
- Openly gay Colorado Gov. Jared Polis recently signed four gun-control measures into law, per the Colorado Newsline. The new laws raise the minimum age to buy a gun to 21, impose a three-day waiting period for ...


Gay News

Billy Masters: Davidson answers some inseam-ly speculation 2023-04-17
- "You leave your phone in the car and don't answer for the night and this?"—Drake Bell addresses someone reporting him to the police as "missing and endangered". The size of Pete Davidson's penis has long been ...


Gay News

CPD's internal affairs department looks into 'like' of anti-trans tweet 2023-04-07
- Internal affairs investigators are looking into a report that the official Twitter account for the Chicago Police Department (CPD) liked an anti-trans post by county-music singer Travis Tritt, according to The Chicago Sun-Times. A photo on ...


Gay News

WORLD Grindr in Egypt, police report, queer tango, Human Rights Watch, Gay Games 2023-03-31
- Dating app Grindr is warning its users in Egypt that police are allegedly using fake accounts to entrap those seeking dates on the platform, after a spike in recent arrests of LGBTQ+ people, MSN noted via ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Drag shows, LGBTQ+ honors, Bragman memorial, Fred Karger 2023-03-04
Video below - Dozens of supporters turned out outside the Crazy Aunt Hellen's restaurant in D.C. in anticipation of a drag show's planned protest by the far-right group Proud Boys—but police said members of the far-right, neo-fascist organization didn' ...


Gay News

Elections 2023: Sam Schoenburg discusses hopes for police council role 2023-02-27
- This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal elections taking place Feb. 28. Attorney and activist Sam Schoenburg, who is gay, is among the ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.