Anyone who was out and about last weekend would have to agree the police presence was huge. After a fabulous night at the opera I was met at the bottom of Oxford St by five uniform-clad officers, who slowly made their way up the strip.
They were everywhere. I must have looked like a real idiot, making my way up Oxford St with a huge smile on my face. It was great to see the sense of security you get from just having boys and girls in blue there.
But what I was to witness next put a dampener on proceedings and the police presence that I and many others had fought for.
Two officers were trying to detain a violent intoxicated patron on Taylor Square. Quite obviously the bouncers had notified the officers and they were doing their job. We want them to do their job, don’t we?
But the foul abuse the police were getting from the groups of gay boys watching was disgusting. Is it better to have no police presence at all? Why should they bother doing their jobs if all they are going to get is, “Fuck off, you pigs.” I just don’t understand.
Everywhere there are a few rotten eggs – does that mean they all are? They should have been on our strip ages ago, I’m first to agree. The solution isn’t just one thing; we all have to be working to succeed.
I have known one of the GLLOs at Surry Hills police station for many years and was able to catch up with him and a group of officers he was patrolling with on Friday night.
Like everyone, I want everything to be fixed but I understand that it’s not going to happen with just one or two weekends.
A couple of weeks ago I advised people who were in trouble to head to Kings Cross police station rather than the Surry Hills station. I wanted those who were the victims of violence to have an option. I hadn’t thought a comment such as this would actually be as hard-hitting as it was.
Nigel, who has been a GLLO for many years and a gay man all of his life, was uncomfortable with the comment to say the least.
“There are some of us who are working very hard for the gay and lesbian community, especially at Surry Hills, and it seems that instantly all of us are bad,” I was told.
So should we tar everyone with the same brush? Are we cutting off our noses to spite our faces?
GLLOs are trained to be able to deal with issues relating to our community. Sometimes the GLLO is gay or lesbian but sometimes not. But ultimately they are there for us.
You are able to ask to speak to a GLLO at any time but, as with most jobs, they may not be working or available when you want them. Give your statement but also organise to meet with the GLLO the next available time. You can even ask for Nigel personally.
Let’s support the GLLOs who are working for our community, as it’s not about pointing out blame, it’s about getting results.