Tampa, Fla. Gets Lesbian Police Chief
The mayor of Tampa, Florida, has named the successor to the outgoing police chief: for the first time, Tampa will have a woman at the head of the city’s police. What’s more, she’s openly lesbian.
A Sept. 16 article at The Daily Loaf reported that Tampa mayor Pam Iorio has named 49-year-old Jane Castor as the replacement for outgoing Police Chief Steve Hogue, who is set to retire at the end of the month.
During the course of her career, Castor had served as Tampa’s police liaison to the GLBT community.
The Daily Loaf said that while Castor did not play up the fact that she is a lesbian, she did not seek to hid it, either, In fact, Castor has served openly for a quarter-century and says that she has not faced harassment or discrimination from fellow officers during her long career.
The article quoted Castor as saying, "When I came on the department 25 years ago, the trails had already been blazed.
"I’ve never had any issues within this department or within this city."
Though Castor did not make a point of being a an open lesbian in an officer’s uniform who is the first in the state’s history to assume such a position of leadership in the police, GLBT rights group Equality Florida hailed her accomplishment.
Said the group’s executive director, Nadine Smith, "There was a time when sexism and homophobia would have prevented the most qualified candidate from getting selected.
"And so it is a testament to her impressive résumé and the progress we’ve made as a society that she’s been named as the new police chief."
But Smith was critical of the fact that most mainstream media glossed over Castor being openly lesbian, while at the same time focusing on her role as Tampa’s first female chief of police.