Instructor Barb

I spent part of my day today speaking before the attendees of the 11th annual International Conference of Gay & Lesbian Criminal Justice Professionals. This year’s conference is hosted by GOAL/NE, which is the “Gay Officers Action League” in New England. A few months ago one of my congregants at Arlington Street Church, who is a retired police chief, invited me to be a part of a training that GOAL/NE was providing for the police department of Cambridge, MA. A team of us went in and taught a class of officers by sharing our personal stories and providing accurate information about queer people/life issues, particularly as they pertain to law enforcement.

My small piece on transgender identity was always a hit (according to the class evaluations) and as a result I was invited to be a part of the international conference. I sat as one of 3 panelists on transgender identity. I had a blast! We each shared a few minutes of our personal stories and then fielded questions from the participants. They asked great questions and we heard from some police officers whose departments are making great strides towards being understanding and respectful to transgender people they deal with (regardless of whether they are citizens, suspects, or victims).

I love doing this work and walked away absolutely delighted with all we did. And to top it off, I had a bonus moment of joy. I hadn’t actually looked at my name tag when it was handed to me, but did so once I was in my car and had taken it off. Wouldn’t ya know it – I’ve been promoted to “instructor” – now isn’t that just a fabulous surprise?! Check it out:

Published in: on 14 June 2007 at 20.18  Comments (1)