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APD & LGPOA
September 26, 2012 5:09 AM   Subscribe

The Lesbian & Gay Peace Officers Association produced a video comprising of LGBT officers and civilian members of the Austin Police Department to send a message to LGBTQ youth that it does get better... (SLYT)
posted by jim in austin (36 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Goddamnit, need to learn to not watch these things at work. Bravo Austin and Texas.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:09 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fan-damn-tastic!!
posted by RedShrek at 6:11 AM on September 26, 2012


Bravo Austin, yes, but Texas as a state passed an anti-gay-marriage law and still technically has an anti-sodomy law on the books, even though it's unenforceable.

That video is especially valuable in that it involves law enforcement, a group that conservatives traditionally respect... it should be seen by everyone.
posted by Huck500 at 6:25 AM on September 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wow, this is really touching and well done.

Sometimes I wonder though:

As much good as the "It Gets Better Movement" has surely done in the world, doesn't it imply a kind of complacency?

"Just tough it out, hang in there, get through high school, and things will get better."

Shouldn't the message be "Make it better, NOW!"?
posted by cacofonie at 6:26 AM on September 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


cacofonie: "Wow, this is really touching and well done.

Sometimes I wonder though:

As much good as the "It Gets Better Movement" has surely done in the world, doesn't it imply a kind of complacency?

"Just tough it out, hang in there, get through high school, and things will get better."

Shouldn't the message be "Make it better, NOW!"?
"

A fair point, but the campaign is squarely aimed at vulnerable LGBT teens who are at suicide risk. The full message is that, no matter how awful life as a gay teen seems, life as a gay adult is worth fighting through for.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:31 AM on September 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


This is very moving, and I agree with Huck500, the fact that this was done by a law enforcement community makes it very powerful. Well done.
posted by HuronBob at 6:32 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Shouldn't the message be "Make it better, NOW!"?

I think part of the point is "Hey we are the people who are on the front lines of protecting your right to be who you are" so in a sense them having this goal right up front is making it better now so that it can, eventually, get better for the people who are stuck in crappy home or school situations who don't think it's going to. Unlike a lot of IGB videos, this one seemed to be much more about "Hey, you have allies even with the police" than coming out stories about crappy school or family stories because that's where the APD is coming from and I felt it was pretty effective at that.
posted by jessamyn at 6:48 AM on September 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Shouldn't the message be "Make it better, NOW!"?

The problem with "Make it better, NOW!" videos is that that people who should be watching them never will.
posted by sparklemotion at 7:10 AM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well shit. Why hasn't MetaFilter made an "It Gets Better" video?
posted by jph at 7:10 AM on September 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


These are brave people.
posted by rotifer at 7:12 AM on September 26, 2012


Dear bigots,
When you are being showed up by a bunch of Texas police officers, you better realize what side you're on.

[spoiler alert]
The wrong side.
[/spoiler]
posted by pointystick at 7:22 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like to point out Hal Duncan's it gets better video every time this comes up.

I agree with cacofonie, I think these messages often don't really speak to teens who are in an impossible situation right now.

Also Kate Bornsteins video, because it offers a perspective besides tough it out, it will maybe get better at some point in the future.
posted by ts;dr at 7:33 AM on September 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


That is so fantastic. Thank you for posting this.
posted by insectosaurus at 7:46 AM on September 26, 2012


Texas has not had a sodomy law on the books since 2003; see Lawrence v. Texas.

I get pretty fucking tired of people assuming that Texas is a totally backwards place with Austin being some kind of liberal haven in the middle of a nightmarish redneck hellhole. Texas is like pretty much everywhere else in the U.S.: the rural parts (and there are a lot of rural parts, granted, just like the rest of the country) are indeed more conservative but the metropolitan areas tend to swing the other direction with a pretty regular frequency.

But, y'know, yee-haw John Wayne spitoons lynching cowpokes pickup trucks tumbleweeds bibles lassos six-shooters ten-gallon hats GWB big hair don't-mess-with-texas
posted by item at 7:50 AM on September 26, 2012 [11 favorites]


item: But, y'know, yee-haw John Wayne spitoons lynching cowpokes pickup trucks tumbleweeds bibles lassos six-shooters ten-gallon hats GWB big hair don't-mess-with-texas

Fluent Texan speakers will note that this is the proper way to order a hamburger at a restaurant.
posted by dr_dank at 8:00 AM on September 26, 2012 [17 favorites]


I once said "yee-haw tumbleweeds bibles lassos six-shooters ten-gallon hats GWB big hair don't-mess-with-texas John Wayne spitoons lynching cowpokes pickup trucks" when ordering a burger, but apparently word order is important and the owner just came over and said "$20, same as in town". Awkward.
posted by jaduncan at 8:06 AM on September 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


APD is far, far from perfect in many ways, but to their credit I can't recall any homophobia incidents in the dozen years I've been here. (I'm sure there have been some, because people are terrible, but it has not been a systemic problem.) I'm glad they did this video.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:15 AM on September 26, 2012


But if you're eating anything other than Whataburger in Texas you're doing it wrong anyway.
posted by jph at 8:21 AM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]




Texas has not had a sodomy law on the books since 2003; see Lawrence v. Texas.

Courts striking down a law doesn't remove that language from the code, it just makes it impossible to enforce. The Texas sodomy law is, in fact, still on the books and would immediately reactivate if the Court ever changed its mind about sodomy laws.

Actually removing the language requires legislative action, which is unlikely to come from Texas legislators anytime soon. And, yeah, for reasons that speak to the political culture of Texas.

Texas is like pretty much everywhere else in the U.S

Really, really not. Life here in WNY is deeply different from life in D/FW, for example, whether you mean the rural, urban, or suburban areas. As a simple example, when we get to the civil liberties sections of my introductory American politics classes I ask students whether their public high school graduation ceremony -- the actual graduation itself -- included an invocation where some minister prayed at and for them. In Texas -- or North Carolina, for that matter -- this was a good example about how just because something was clearly and flatly unconstitutional didn't mean that it didn't happen, because almost everyone who went to a public high school was prayed at at their graduation. When I asked the class here in WNY, they didn't just uniformly keep their hands down, they looked at me like I'd sprouted nine heads; the very idea was so alien to them.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:33 AM on September 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


Really special.
posted by arnicae at 8:51 AM on September 26, 2012


I can't recall any homophobia incidents in the dozen years I've been here.

This happened just last week
posted by RustyBrooks at 8:56 AM on September 26, 2012


spitoons lynching cowpokes

I warned them that sentient robot spittoons would lead to nothing but trouble.
posted by yoink at 9:05 AM on September 26, 2012


18 states still have sodomy laws on the books
Massachusetts and Georgia "win" the most ridiculous punishment award with maximum prison sentences of 20 years.
I wonder why we don't point out this fact every time Massachusettes is in the news on LGBT-related issues.
posted by muddgirl at 9:08 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's stories like this that makes Texas have a bad reputation.

Drinking While Brown (or Gay) in Texas Will Get You Arrested


It's because something like this happened to me just this year that I know about stories like this.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:10 AM on September 26, 2012


Oops - fixed link

I really respect the cops in Austin for doing this. But it's the cops in Dallas that make it a really important stand to take.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:11 AM on September 26, 2012


These people are awesome.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:23 AM on September 26, 2012


This happened just last week

I'm sorry, I wasn't clear - I meant I don't recall any homophobia incidents by the police. There are certainly occasional hate crimes. (As a matter of fact, after a recent gay-bashing incident, my dojo is running a self-defense class at one of the local gay bars.)
posted by restless_nomad at 9:33 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, I wasn't clear - I meant I don't recall any homophobia incidents by the police.

Ah, yes. I'm not aware of any of these either.
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:44 AM on September 26, 2012


>>> Really, really not.

I'm not saying that Texas isn't full of backwards rednecks but that a huge chunk of the rest of the country is full of them, too.
posted by item at 11:33 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is a Make It Better Project that came about shortly after the It Gets Better Project was started.
posted by zizzle at 12:59 PM on September 26, 2012


It's been my impression that while the entire country is full of bigots, there are certain places where it's considered far more socially acceptable to admit to one's bigotry out loud and in public, rather than keeping it quiet and only letting it out in private. I don't know if one option is objectively better than the other, but it's certainly been far less stressful for my daily life when I've lived in places like a rural village in upstate New York, where the people who hated me for being queer would show it by avoiding me and possibly muttering slurs under their breath and probably talking behind my back where I at least didn't have to listen to it, than here in an 80,000-person city in East Texas, where the people who hate me for being queer literally accost me in the grocery store to lecture me about how I am going to hell (based solely upon my non-gender-conforming appearance; I'm not going to the grocery store wearing a t-shirt that says I'M HERE AND I'M QUEER. This is a real thing which has actually happened to me on multiple occasions, most recently the week before last).

It's very important for Yankees/people from the coasts/people from "liberal" areas to realize that their homes aren't a perfect bastion of people who are never bigoted, and it's also very important not to kneejerk-react to things with this idea that Texas Is A Unique Cesspit Of Horrible Things because it's really not, but "Texas is literally exactly like the rest of the country in this regard" isn't true at all in my experience.
posted by titus n. owl at 1:01 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was a bit teary because this video is very awesome.
posted by jaduncan at 1:20 PM on September 26, 2012


Usually I don't care about hair that much, but one officer had those cute twisted strands in the back, and I could almost go for that look, if I thought about it enough...
posted by ovvl at 8:13 PM on September 26, 2012


Thanks for this post. I posted it over to Joel Burns's FB page.
posted by Doohickie at 6:06 PM on September 27, 2012


This video is now one of my top favorite 'It Gets Better' testimonials.
posted by ericb at 1:28 PM on September 30, 2012


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