By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com September 22 2012 10:58 AM ET
Sometimes Texas gets a bad wrap on its inclusiveness of LGBT people. So the Austin Police Department's new It Gets Better video starts with an important message:
"Before we put on our uniform, before we go to work protecting the citizens of Austin, we are a part of Texas, and we are gay," it states, followed by personal stories of officers and other department employees coming out.
"I didn't want to call myself gay because gay meant you' re broken," one officer remembers. Another was afraid being gay might stop him from becoming an officer.
One woman cries as she remembers being told that being gay "is very biblically wrong and I don't want to see you go to hell."
Another came out on her birthday and was told by her family that they didn't want to hear from her again until she was straight.
But the video includes a message from the Austin chief of police, Art Acevedo, about his department's commitment to being inclusive and protecting everyone. And the gay officers emphasize: "I'm a native Texan and very proud of that." And, "This is one of the faces of Texas."
Watch the video below.