All my life I have followed my dream of becoming a Peace Officer. I have worked hard to reach my goals in life. I have struggled and I have cried. There was always part of me growing up that made me feel hindered about reaching my goals. I've know I been gay since I was a little boy. I can remember as far back as elementary school having this strange feeling in my stomach about a fellow class mate; freaked out because I've never had this strange feeling before. At the age of 13, I became the youngest Police Cadet. I was held to the same standards and had to pass the same test as everyone else did to be come a Police Cadet. But once I became a Police Cadet I quickly learned how being gay was not ok in Law Enforcement by me fellow peer's, that most of Solano County was very homophobic! This experience truly made me feel like I was going to be the only gay Peace Officer in the world. I thought I would have to be closeted my whole life. I finally reached the age of 21 and went through the Napa Police Academy. Going through the Academy changed my life forever! Something happened that I would have never thought of happening in a million years. I finally came out as a Gay Man!! The warmth and support I received from my family and friends was absolutely amazing (to say the least), and I owe this major life-changing event to Greg Miraglia, who helped me and showed me it's ok to be who you are!
I finally went to my first Gay Pride parade in 2012 in San Francisco and marched with the San Francisco Police Officer Pride Alliance, a truly amazing feeling!! Later on that year I was hired by the Solano County Sheriff's Office as the first openly Gay Deputy Sheriff, something I would have never seen in a millions years!! The over whelming support I've received from my co-workers has been inspiring and amazing. Now for the first time in my life I will be marching in the SF Gay Pride Parade in my Solano County Deputy Sheriff's uniform with my amazing Boyfriend Devin Kasper and the San Francisco Police Department.
The reason why I write all this today, is because just a few short years ago I've would have never thought I would have ever been writing something like this, yet alone marching in a Gay Pride parade in my Uniform. The reason why I march in the Gay Pride Parade is not to rub in people's faces that I am gay, t's to show people to stand up for what you believe in and follow your dreams. Take the risk, jump through the hoops, and see where life takes you. March in the Gay Pride parade to show other people that's it's ok to be gay, that they can be loved, have a family and friends, to marry the one you love, and you can be who you want to be. It truly a is an amazing feeling that's truly indescribable when you're marching down Market St in SF and there is over a million people there supporting you and saying its ok to be who you are! I march because I hope that one day no one person has to feel or go through the struggle I have gone through. So if you're free this Sunday, 06/29/14, come out and support Equality! you don't have to be gay of course, because believe it or not, the biggest impact of support comes from our straight allies!! I hope to see you all and thank you all for making a difference in my life!!
-- a Facebook post shared with YCBA.