Now Reading
First openly-gay uniformed police officer to march in London pride parade dies

First openly-gay uniformed police officer to march in London pride parade dies

@PendletonNW/Twitter

Julie Barnes-Frank, one of the first uniformed police officers to come out as gay and march in the London pride parade, has died.

Heralded as a fierce LGBTI trailblazer, Barnes-Frank worked tirelessly as a police officer at the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) for over 30 years.

Losing her battle against cancer, Barnes-Frank passed away on Monday and the tributes have been flooding in.

In 2012, she was awarded the Alan Turing Memorial Award for her lifetime’s work helping to establish the Lesbian and Gay Staff Association at the GMP that offers advice and support to police staff.

Her wife, Linda Barnes-Frank, told the BBC: ‘A lot has changed due to Julie’s hard work and determination – today there’s an embedded culture of respect for difference and greater equality.’

The couple met while both working in the police force and set up the group to combat discrimination.

Smyth Harper, LGBT Foundation chair, said: ‘Over the course of her career, Julie was an instrument for change in GMP.

‘It was a source of quiet pride for Julie that each year, men and women from GMP and from police services across Britain would participate in the Manchester Pride parade.

‘Our community has lost one of our most important activists, although she would have been mortified to be described as such.

‘But as we mourn, we can also celebrate because Julie left a legacy. Julie made a difference,’ he said.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of the Greater Manchester Police said in a statement: ‘She has supported countless colleagues through LGBT issues and worked tirelessly to change policy, to prevent bullying and gain acceptance for LGBT staff but always in a fair, balanced and practical way.

‘What a legend. Farewell to our inspiration,’ he said.