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Sgt. Brett Parson
(1968 - living) U.S.A.

Brett Parson

Police officer

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From 1987 to 1993, Brett's career involved policing the ice as a major and minor hockey league referee. When he was on the verge of becoming a fully vested official with the National Hockey League, he left to join the D.C. police academy in Washington, his hometown.

Brett said he wanted to live his life openly as a gay man and decided that could never happen in professional hockey.

Today, he still plays hockey, but now as a linesman on the D.C. police hockey team. At 6 feet 2 inches tall, Brett is a considerable force on the ice, but he still hears unprintable anti-gay epithets from his opponents.

Pro hockey is a tight-knit culture, one built on loyalty, toughness and violence. Though officially discouraged, it is that violent, rough play that actually brings a number of fans into the sport, and thus makes the NHL the least likely sport to support an openly gay player.

The real question isn't so much how many gay men are currently closeted in the NHL, but rather how many turned away from joining in the first place. To put all this in perspective, consider that after six years refereeing in the minor and major leagues, Parson decided he would be far more welcomed living openly gay as a police officer than he would be as a hockey referee.

Brett has been serving MPDC since 1994. His career has taken him to all corners of the District of Columbia, serving first as an officer and patrol supervisor in the Fourth District, in the city's Northwest quadrant

While at the Fourth District, Brett worked in patrol, Vice/Narcotics, Gun Recovery, and Investigations and served on several workgroups and committees. He has specialized in the enforcement of alcohol related crimes, as well as Domestic Violence investigations and has been recognized by the department, community and other agencies many times for his work, to include victim advocacy.

In 1999, he was transferred to the Sixth District, where he was a patrol and investigative supervisor. He briefly supervised the Violent Crimes Investigative Unit, which is responsible for homicide and other violent crime investigations. From the Sixth District, Brett moved to the Major Narcotics Branch.

Brett arrived at the Gay-Lesbian-Liaison-Unit in June of 2001, joining co-founder, Kelly McMurry. (Kelly created GLLU in June of 2000). Since his arrival, he has endeavored to keep the GLLU on the street and in the community. A street officer at heart, Brett can be seen and heard in all parts of the city responding to calls for service.

He also speaks publicly regarding GLBT issues, and trains law enforcement in ways to better serve the GLBT communities. Community members, law enforcement and the media have recognized Brett (and the entire GLLU Staff) as a national leader in GLBT-Police relations.

Brett is nationally recognized as a resource for investigations involving crimes by, and against the GLBT communities. He has built a staff, which represents the GLBT and greater community spectrum, utilizing the talents of sworn and civilian volunteers from throughout the Metropolitan Police Department and the GLBT communities.

Brett received his B.A. (Criminal Justice/Spanish) from the University of Maryland at College Park. From 1991-1993, he pursued his M.A. at the same school, studying Criminal Justice and Counseling. As a former professional ice hockey official, teacher, pool manager, resident director and host of other odd jobs, Brett brings an eclectic background to the GLLU.

In his off-time, Brett enjoys travel, speaking publicly to anyone who will listen, working out and spending time with his boyfriend, Chris. A native Washingtonian and current resident, Brett's family still lives in the area, allowing him to unwind with family and life-long friends.

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