Australian police officers share coming out stories in candid video
A group of Australian police officers have shared their coming out stories in a candid video which sends a message of support to the LGBT+ community ahead of the marriage equality postal survey.
LGBT officers from the Queensland police force spoke about their own fears of acceptance before coming out, as well as the challenges that they have encountered.
One officer, David Tucker, explained that when he was 40 years old he came out to his family after his daughter asked him point blank if he was gay.
He had lived his entire life as a straight man but felt he had to succumb to what he had always known: he is gay.
“She said, ‘Are you gay?’ To which I then burst into tears,” Tucker said.
He added: “One of the things that I’ve always regretted is I never told mum that I was gay.”
As well as sexuality, trans officers spoke about their experiences with coming out.
For Constable Martina Winkworth, she was fortunate to have the support of her wife as she came to realise that she is trans.
Winkworth explained that her wife began to pick up on the subtleties of how she was feeling and promised that she would give Winkworth her “blessing” while going forward.
Lorianna Blaylock explained that her family was incredibly religious and so she felt she would never be able to come out.
“I was born into a very religious family, I used to go to church every Sunday, youth every Friday, bible study every Wednesday and for me being gay was definitely not an option,” she said.
A different officer, Michelle Harris, revealed how she thought that if she were to come out as a lesbian then people would not treat her with as much respect.
At one point, she was so conflicted about her sexuality that she began to contemplate suicide.
Harris said: “That’s probably the worst of it. Understanding who you are but not being able to share it.
“For a few years there I considered that the best option was to actually take my own life just that would be the easiest thing to do,” she added.
Since that point, Harris has come to terms with her sexuality and is now a proud and out lesbian as she realised her sexuality should not determine people’s opinions of her.
“I started to be more comfortable within myself and also with the concept that your sexual orientation and/or your gender identity doesn’t define you,” she said.