SAN DIEGO, United States — A transgender police officer who helped organise San Diego’s Transgender Day Of Remembrance, was turned away from the event when she tried to attend in her police uniform.
San Diego’s LGBT Community Center later apologised to Officer Christine Garcia and Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman.
Officer Christine Garcia, who transitioned last year, helped plan the event and was part of the Police Department security detail that watched over a commemorative march down University Avenue.
Later, she attempted to attend the event herself but was asked to leave. She says she was told her uniform could upset others.
The centre’s CEO, Delores Jacobs, called the incident a regrettable misunderstanding.
Jacobs added that the LGBT center supports San Diego’s police officers.
“We do not wish to ever make any community member feel unwelcome … these officers are valued members of our community,” Delores Jacobs, chief executive officer of the LGBT center, said in a statement.
Jacobs said the occurrence was a misunderstanding of the center’s existing policy of inclusion, which seeks to acknowledge the concerns that members of the community may have without excluding others. Leaders have reviewed the policy with its staff since the event.
“While we need to support those that are uncomfortable and honor their reactions to valid and understandable difficult previous experiences, we also need to explain that… our LGBTQ San Diego police liaisons are a valued part of our community,” Jacobs wrote.
Longtime LGBTQ activist, City Commissioner Nicole Murray-Ramirez, said the incident was an outrage.
“Any officer, be they gay or straight, should be welcomed into our community center in uniform,” he said. “They protect our community and neighborhoods and make San Diego a better place.”
Source: LA Times / AP