The chairman of the Gay Police Association and the founder of a helpline for
the parents of gay, lesbian and transgendered children in Scotland have both
been appointed MBE's in the Queen's New Year Honours List.
Inspector Paul Cahill receives an MBE for his work promoting
diversity within the police force and in the wider community. His boss
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens backed his award.
Paul says his MBE is "quite a surprise" but represents a real change in how the
police view the gay community.
"I do think things have changed, certainly in the last five years
there has been a dramatic improvement," Cahill said Wednesday.
The Gay Police Association now receives official funding and is used to reach to
the gay community to help cut down homophobic hate crimes and encourage victims
to report crimes.
"People don't judge you as much now," Cahill says. "I was the only
gay person I knew at training school, whereas this week ... we have
27 'out' gay officers at Hendon. That's a massive sea-change in
people's confidence in the organization."
Anne Patrizio, a 63-year-old Edinburgh teacher whose son agonised in secret about
being gay for years, is appointed an MBE.
The chief organiser of Parents Enquiry Scotland says: "This award recognises the
importance and value of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community itself."