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Tampa, FL Appoints State’s First Openly Lesbian Police Chief

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Tampa is set to swear in its first female and the state’s first openly lesbian police chief.

A 6-foot, lanky mother of two will not only be the first woman to command the Tampa Police Department when she is sworn in on Oct. 1, she also is set to become Florida’s first openly lesbian police chief.

Though her appointment is historically significant to the LGBT community, Castor treated it as a non-issue when questioned.

The 49-year-old never dodged sexuality-related questions after news of her appointment was made, but said she’d rather focus what she plans to do as chief.

Castor made it clear; however, that she has never experienced homophobia from other Tampa officers or the public.

She said: “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.”

Despite her humble stance, Castor’s appointment is still a milestone, according to Equality Florida Director Nadine Smith. Castor had served for several years as the department’s highly visible liaison to Tampa’s gay and lesbian community.

Smith said: “There was a time when sexism and homophobia would have prevented the most qualified candidate from getting selected.” She said “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.”

– Mike Wells in Tampa.

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Written by OutQ News staff

September 17, 2009 at 4:20 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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