The letter to the editor in the last Windy City Times from the Chicago Police Department ( CPD ) caught my attention. Why??? Because our ( LGBTQA group and CPD's ) journey together over the years has been bumpy at best. We have gone from Public Enemy Number One to partners in safety for the Chicago's LGBTQA community. What a journey of hope and possibilities that has been.
Our community has moved from a community of fear of the Police Department into arena of trust in that same police department. I attribute this to a lot of education and hard work by both community activists and the CPD.
By releasing this statement concerning LGBTQA safety in gay bars during LGBTQ Pride weekends, the CPD once again shows it understands our lives, attitudes and concerns.
While the CPD and Chicago's LGBTQA community have come a long way in building bridges of dialogue and respectful communication; this relationship is not without its problems.
I am pleased that this letter to editor was posted by the CPD; however, the solution to blind inward violence that targets innocent partygoers to either rob or do bodily violence in our community bars requires a united response from patrons of these bars and bar owners. One of the ways the bar owners can collaborate with the CPD is by having the letter visibly posted so all patrons know that the CPD is not the enemy.
Each of us have human dignity, and should be treated in a way that reflects that Human Dignity. So this Pride in addition to watching out for yourselves watch out for your brothers and sisters and remember life is sacred, and our Pride Parade is Pro Life among many other things.
We need to be more proactive in laying out a vision for making our community a safe space. This can only happen by building bridges and taking risks based on hope.
Have a happy and safe LBGTQA Pride Parade. This is your celebration; never forget that we stand the shoulders of so many who have gone before us.
Rainbow Sash Movement ( LGBTQ Roman Catholics )