The Gay Police Association of Scotland (GPA) launched today (15 June) a video featuring police officers and police staff from across the country discussing what it was like for them growing up as gay, lesbian or transgender.
Officers give a frank and candid accounts of their experiences including their perceptions of gay people, coming out to family members and friends and how their lives have changed since then.
They also gave advice to young people who may be worried about telling someone that they are gay or trans or are experiencing bullying or harassment because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
The video was submitted to the It Gets Better Project via Youtube, join 50,000 other videos submitted.
Other contributors include US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond, many celebrities, companies, organizations and individuals. These videos have generated over 50 million views worldwide.
It Gets Better began in 2010 when American author Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller posted a video on Youtube to inspire hope for young people facing harassment.
In response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied at school, they wanted to create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that, yes, it does indeed get better.
Research carried out by the University of Cambridge for Stonewall's School Report Scotland published in July 2012 found that 52% of LGBT pupils in Scottish secondary schools had experienced homophobic bullying. The research also found that a quarter (26%) of gay young Scots had attempted to take their own life.
GPA Scotland Officer, Alan Sneddon stated ‘inspired by other police forces who have submitted video contributions to the It Gets Better Project (e.g. New York Police Department, San Francisco Police Department) Gay Police Association Scotland contacted our members who were only too happy and willing to take part in a Scottish police version.
‘We are extremely proud of everyone who took part in the film and hope that it will help send out a positive message to young people in Scotland and beyond.’
GPA Scotland launched the video today coinciding with Pride Scotia in Edinburgh and Police Officers and Police Staff from across Scotland participated in the parade, in uniform, including many of those individuals involved in the making of the film.
Chief Constable Stephen House said ‘Police Scotland is committed to embracing diversity both in the workplace and in our communities and ensuring that everyone can live free from all forms of bullying and harassment.
‘Every officer and member of police staff supports the film submitted to the “It Gets Better” project'.
You can view the video here: