Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Dallas LGBT Community to Orlando: “We Are With You!”


Hundreds of LGBT Dallasites and allies rally in solidarity with Orlando despite the rain.

Hundreds of LGBT Dallasites and allies rally in solidarity with Orlando despite the rain. Dallas Morning News photo, Teng Shen, photographer.

Dallas, Texas – Hundreds gathered in the pouring rain outside the newly opened headquarters of the Resource Center in the heart of the Dallas LGBT community to demonstrate their solidarity with the people of Orlando, and especially with the Orange County LGBT community in the wake of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Undaunted by the rain, gays, lesbians, bisexual people, and transgender people, augmented by a multitude of allies, listened, wept, cheered and contributed as a score or more of speakers representing all major faith communities, the humanist community, and members of racial/ethnic minority groups vowed to stand firm in the struggle for justice and equality. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Police Chief Brown were also in attendance at the rally, showing the unity of the city and its law enforcement agencies with the LGBT community during this challenging time.

The host of the solidarity rally, Resource Center, led by Executive Director Cece Cox, is one of the largest of the better than 200 LGBT service centers in the nation, and a focal point of outreach and support for marginalized people throughout North Texas. The new, $8.9 million facility that houses the Center, open less than eleven days, is a testament to the vigor and muscle of the Dallas queer community. After listening to the speakers, the participants boarded buses or walked the 1.9 mile route down Cedar Springs Road to the symbolic crossroads of the Dallas LGBT “Gayborhood,” the Legacy of Love Monument at the junction of Cedar Springs Road and Oak Lawn Avenue. There the rally concluded after laying flowers and other signs of affection at the foot of the monument as signs of hundreds of wishes for comfort and healing for the city of Orlando and the Pulse Nightclub where the shooting took the lives of 50 people, and left 53 others wounded.

Dallas is home to one of the largest and most vibrant LGBT communities in the nation, and celebrates diversity through its many open and affirming and LGBT predominant faith communities, civic and recreational groups, charities, and health support services. The Dallas Gayborhood has been plagued since late September by better than 20 attacks on young gay men both along the fabled Strip where nightclubs, restaurants, and merchants that cater to the LGBT community are found, and beyond it in nearby neighborhoods. While community and police efforts have improved lighting and installed surveillance cameras along the Strip, leaders and citizens alike are concerned that no arrests have been made in any of the cases, many of which are clear instances of anti-gay hate crime.

The show of support for Orlando last night foretells renewed local efforts in concert with the Dallas Police Department to bring a halt to the rash of brutal attacks, none of which to date have proved fatal. Dallas is no stranger to anti-LGBT violence in all its forms, and that has made the emotional bond between “Big D” and Orlando all the stronger.

June 13, 2016 Posted by | Dallas, Dallas Police Department, GLBTQ, gun violence, Heterosexism and homophobia, LGBTQ, Mass shootings, Orlando, Pulse Nightclub, Resource Center, transphobia, Vigil | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Dallas LGBT Community to Orlando: “We Are With You!”

Lesbian Police Officer Promoted in Dallas: Congratulations!

Officer Laura Martin, LGBT Liaison Officer for the DPD, receives her promotion badge from Police Chief David Brown

Dallas, Texas – Officer Laura Martin, the Dallas Police Department’s LGBT Liaison Officer, has been promoted to Senior Corporal. According to the Dallas Voice, Martin was one of 37 officers promoted to the rank.  Making her achievement even more notable is that out of 400 who took the exam this year to become Senior Corporal, Martin earned the top score.  She received her badge of promotion for Dallas Police Chief David Brown in a ceremony held the first full week of December.

Martin, a lesbian, has been with the Dallas Police Department for the past 14 years, and has been the department’s LGBT Liaison Officer for the past five years.  She has been instrumental in improving communications between city police and the large Dallas LGBT population.  When crimes affecting the queer community occur, Martin is called in, and she often makes public statements to interpret police actions in sensitive cases.  DPD relationships with gays and lesbians have been rocky in the past, especially in instances when the Oak Lawn/Cedar Springs community was not informed of crimes in a timely manner by the police.  Martin’s advocacy and professionalism have helped sensitize fellow officers to the issues facing the LGBTQ community, and likewise have made gay people feel they have a voice in the department, speaking up for their concerns and rights.

Martin is currently working primarily in the Dallas Police Department’s Northwest Division.  Her duties include membership in a community engagement unit.  When questioned by the Voice about whether this promotion would change her venue or her current duties, Martin said that she did not expect any changes in the near future.

Dallas is fortunate to have the professional service of a fine officer like Senior Corporal Laura Martin as Liaison to the LGBTQ community.  The Unfinished Lives Project Team, who are engaged in anti-LGBTQ hate crimes education and prevention, join Officer Martin’s many friends and admirers to say, “Congratulations, Laura!”

December 18, 2011 Posted by | African Americans, Anglo Americans, Dallas Police Department, GLBTQ, hate crimes prevention, Law and Order, Lesbian women, LGBTQ, Texas | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lesbian Police Officer Promoted in Dallas: Congratulations!


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