‘We’re not all that different from each other’
While our post on puppies is getting 1000.s of HITS I hope you take a look at this too. All part of our Adventures in our life and this means a lot to us! Thanks! Cheryl & Leslie
Published: November 06, 2012 3:00 PM
Updated: November 06, 2012 3:29 PM
Their stories, struggles and fears may vary, but the message from 20 RCMP employees in a video aimed at youth is the same: life does get better.
The nine-minute film features a mix of police officers of different ranks and other employees sharing their personal experiences in discovering they were gay and dealing with it as young people.
“I was teased at times and ridiculed and called a faggot,” recalls one male officer.
“A lot of the people I went to school with said I was effeminate, I was gay, and I was somehow judged for that,” says another man.
“It was a huge, huge struggle for me,” adds a female constable.
The participating officers share their difficult, often moving, experiences coming out to their families and the lack of role models they had.
But they also drill home the fact that that life got significantly less difficult with time.
“Never give up, it does get better.”
“I can absolutely tell you things get better.”
“Things get way better.”
The video was initiated by Const. Cheryl Letkeman, an RCMP officer with Surrey’s youth unit. For several years, she’d been
following the It Gets Better Project online (http://www.itgetsbetter.org/), which aims to show lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth the happiness and potential of their lives if they can just get through their teen years.
“I noted that a couple of police forces in the United States had put videos on the website and I just thought ‘why haven’t the RCMP? Why haven’t we done this?’ ” says Letkeman.
She canvassed RCMP members in the Lower Mainland to see who would want to participate and ended up with the 20 participants in the final video.
She remembers struggling and a child and a teen and not having any positive role models.
“High school is hard – whether you’re gay, straight, it doesn’t matter – it’s hard,” Letkeman says. “I just wanted all youth to know there are people that have gotten through high school… and that there’s people out there that will stick up for them and try to help them any way they can.”
And she believes the perspective of police officers and other members of law enforcement will prove valuable.
“I think there’s stereotypes that go along with law enforcement as well as stereotypes that go along with gay, lesbian and transgendered people. Hopefully we’ve sort of broken some of those and given not just gay and lesbian people something to think about, but all youth, and all people, really. We’re not all that different from each other.”
4 thoughts on “More PRESS “It Get’s Better” – RCMP & Cheryl’s Interview!”
I think it’s great that the RCMP took this initiative, some really compelling thoughts in the video. I’ve never understood why there is so much stigma still in 2012 about sexuality, race, religion etc, and in many cases people then counterintuitively justify their prejudices by using their own religions as a scapegoat! What a mad world we live in.
While I would consider myself a spiritual person (although not religious per se) my family are all extremely religious and brought me up to treat everyone with respect and kindness from the heart (ie to really mean it, not just to keep up appearances).
In a random twist, our Head Chaplain at the hospital I work at is a M2F transexual who is well-loved by our staff and her colleagues including Catholic, Muslim, Jewish and Humanist Chaplains. The fact she was born a man is not even a consideration.
Perhaps there is a bit of hope after all…
we hope so but I find it interesting…this post and the other posts I have published on this blog has not received much attention even when it comes to views. Hardly any comments too….so….am I to assume the readers of this blog have no interest, have nothing positive or negative to say???? Weird…I don’t expect Cheryl to get a pat on the back but thought for sure their would be more interest one way or the other on this blog….thanks for taking the time to post your comment!
You never know, I wouldn’t want to be presumptuous but perhaps it’s not a topic that many of your visitors are comfortable voicing an opinion on for whatever reason… or prefer motorcycle-related posts to more personal ones. I’m one for the bigger picture, I like the behind-the-scenes posts to put the others into context – and it’s what differentiates your blog from being “just another motorcycle blog”. And that’s a good thing.
good point but still it is obvious this is blog about almost everything, lol hell sometimes I wonder where I am going with things on here. But seriously, it’s too bad more don’t just comment and express an opinion one way or the other. I will post another really off topic but on topic post pertaining to this RCMP campaign because I think it’s important and also it’s what we stand for as well.
Always enjoy your insight!