Cop Marching in Gay Pride Parade in Uniform Isn't Progress

Nicole Fabian-Weber

copsAndrew Johnson is a cop. Andrew Johnson is also gay. Andrew Johnson is a gay cop who wanted to march in a Gay Pride Parade in his uniform on Sunday. But his force told him no. They said it would "discredit" them. Don't get upset, though. The outcome of this story is a happy one. Celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred got involved, and long story short, Andrew will be marching loud, proud, and uniform-clad this Sunday. Victory.

Seems like all sorts of strides are being made in the gay community lately, huh? Maybe it's the Gleeing of our country, or perhaps we're just evolving. Whatever the reason, it's rad. But, every time any headway is made, an incident preceded it that makes you think, "Damn, we've got a long way to go."

Case in point: Andrew Johnson. Why on earth would the fact that he's marching in a gay parade in his uniform "discredit" the Department? Would people think cops are sissies? Would they simply refuse to call them if they were being robbed or just got attacked? A cop is a cop is a cop. Right? That Johnson had to fight for this right -- and that Gloria Allred had to get involved -- makes me sad. Maybe I'm naive, maybe I hang with people who hang too left, but it seems like something that should have happened in the 1960s, not 2011.

And there are other events that trigger a similar reaction in me. Sure, it's great that Jenna Lyons featured her son with pink toes in the J.Crew catalog. But what about the backlash that followed? And then there's the rash of gay male students who have recently been crowned Prom Queen. It's great that it's not going to the head cheerleader anymore -- and that gay students are actually being recognized -- but why not just crown them Prom King? They are boys, too.

I don't know. Maybe I'm just feeling pessimistic today. Maybe I should be happy that advances are being made. But I can't help but think of the things that surround these advances. And can't stop thinking about what work is going to be like for Andrew Johnson on Monday.

What do you think of Andrew Johnson marching in his uniform?

Image via jammmick/Flickr

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