About the Documentary
Coming Out Cops is an in-progress documentary film project that introduces its audience to a group of Two-spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (2SLGBTQ+) law enforcement professionals from Ontario, Canada.
The documentary unpacks the multiple, dynamic, and often conflicting “coming out” processes these sworn-professionals navigate in their personal and professional lives.
For many amongst the film’s cast, this includes not only opening up to their families, friends, and communities about their 2SLGBTQ+ identities, but also coming out within the para-military culture of law enforcement that can be characterized both historically (and in many ways, currently) by an environment of hyper-masculinity in which sexuality- and gender- minority individuals may be marginalized or even persecuted when they come out as 2SLGBTQ+ to their colleagues and superiors.
In addition, they have a similar experience when “coming out” as police officers and law enforcement professionals to friends, family, and chosen family in the 2SLGBTQ+ community, as many people within the community harbour feelings of mistrust towards law enforcement as a result of historical and ongoing experiences of over-enforcement and under-protection.
This “triple bind” (personal identity, professional identity, connection to 2SLGBTQ+ community) is the nexus at which the audience and subjects of the film are introduced.
Inspiring change from the inside, out
The idea for the documentary came from S/Sgt. Sandra Sparling, Ottawa Police Service after experiencing the effects of the “triple bind” as an 2SLGBTQ+ police officer.
She recruited Cst. Patty Retsinas (Ret’d), Toronto Police Service and Jean Turner, Civilian Member for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Co-chair of Serving with Pride (SWP).
Serving with Pride, is a not-for-profit network organization that provides affirmation and support for 2SLGBTQ+ identified law enforcement personnel, as well as training and education to police services and law enforcement across Ontario. We are grateful for the official support of SWP.
Technical production is provided in-kind by DFF Productions, Aaron Sheedy, Carla Sheedy and Shane Morrison.
Dr. Blair Niblett, Trent University supports the project as an academic consultant.
Together they form the entire production team.
Reinforcing your support
The comingoutcops team donate their own time, resources and talent in the production of this documentary.
While some support has been recieved from Serving with Pride, donations to help with travel, production and editing costs are needed and greatly appreciated.
Have a Sneak Peek!
“Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start.”