On Gays, the Police Force, Public Service


Congratulations on the thoughtful and moving profile by Bob Sipchen on gay ex-LAPD officer Mitchell Grobeson (“A Gay Officer’s Lonely Patrol,” April 28). Mitch’s accomplishments and great personal courage are inspiring, and the inexcusable abuse he suffered from fellow officers because he is gay is deeply disturbing.

Thousands of patriotic lesbians and gay men serve in our armed forces, and many other dedicated lesbian and gay public servants are included in the ranks of our local police forces. Thanks to the bigotry that still rules in this country, most of these courageous individuals are forced, like Mitch was, to hide their lesbian and gay identity from those around them.

That is the personal toll bigotry exacts on our lives. It is society as a whole that suffers, however, when bigots are permitted to force people of accomplishment like Mitch out of positions of community service. Hopefully, through the airing of stories like this in the mainstream press, we can begin to overcome the pernicious effects of homophobia on individuals and society at large.



Chair, Response Committee

Gay and Lesbian Alliance

Against Defamation, Los Angeles