Members of the Lesbian and Gay Peace Officers Association in Austin have made their own video sharing their experiences of being gay and offering messages of hope and encouragement to gay youths. The video was shown Friday at a press conference at City Hall. It features 29 officers and civilian employees from the Austin Police Department talking about subjects including how hard it was for them to let other people know they were gay. One officer in the video said he could only let his family know by sending a text message to them. Another officer, who said he played football in school, said he struggled because he felt it meant he was “broken.” Gay officers in the film, who were not named, reassured gay teenagers that their lives would get better and urged them not to harm themselves. “If you check out, you miss it all,” said one officer. In the video, Police Chief Art Acevedo said that he has always valued diversity because he comes from an immigrant family. He also said the Police Department values diversity and wants to create a safe environment for gay teens.
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