The following is an article I recently wrote for Fire 20/20, an organization which promotes diversity in the fire service.

A Fire Station Ally
by Brett Dunckel

“Straight but not narrow.” was a quote I once read on a protest sign at a rally against the National Organization for Marriage. NOM had set out that summer on a bus tour stopping in various states to hold rallies in support of “traditional marriage,” marriage between one man and one woman. Their only stop in Florida, where I live, was in the Orlando area. Once I heard they’d be protesting a mere three hour drive from me, I decided I would attend my first ever counter protest. Prior to this event I was kind of an arm chair proponent of gay rights.


The following is an article I was asked to write for a website called Fire 20/20 which serves to promote diversity in the fire and EMS service.

Active recruitment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, LGBT, individuals in the fire service is virtually unheard of. It is like planning a big steak dinner at your busiest station and actually getting to enjoy it in its entirety without getting a call. Granted, not all departments recruit for the purpose of diversifying their ranks. However, amongst those who do, I have not been able to find one who targets LGBT individuals the way law enforcement does. What may be the reason behind this lack of outreach? Are we as a fire service blind to the potential this group of individuals can bring to our ranks? Are we as LGBT individuals blind to the possibilities of a career spent serving our fellow citizens? Let’s exam and hopefully dispel some of these myths in an effort to be more inclusive of LGBT individuals as possible new recruits.


Catawba Valley Citizens Against Hate Protest

“Build a great big, large fence – 50 or 100 miles long – and put all the lesbians in there, fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals, and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out. Feed them. And you know in a few years, they’ll die out. You know why? They can’t reproduce.”

These words were spoken from the pulpit by Charles Worley, a preacher in the town of Maiden, NC this past Mother’s Day. This sermon was given after the citizens of North Carolina voted to approved Amendment 1 which dictates marriage is only between one man and one woman. Now, this type of amendment is nothing new and has been passed by a number of other states, but what makes this one a little more hateful is it also disallows civil unions and domestic partnerships of all kinds, gay or straight, while terminating those already in existence.


The following is reposted from the South Florida Gay News and was written by Tana Velen

Man in Uniform
Openly gay firefighter breaks stereotypes

Are you a man who thinks sports are boring, loves the color pink, or dresses like Cher at the Oscars on Saturday nights? Well then, you must be gay. Those are the rules, right? And if you can’t slide your feminine figure into those stereotypes whelp, you must be straight!


Bear To Make A Difference Fundraiser

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending “Bear to Make a Difference” in Denver Colorado. This is a fundraising event held annually for the Matthew Shepard Foundation. This year marked the events tenth anniversary, drawing a record attendance of 650 people.



Transitions is the name of the newsletter which I have been receiving at work the last few weeks. This is a new newsletter which we are only receiving temporarily. The reason for the newsletter? After 50 plus years, the fire department which I have worked for my entire career is going on its last call.