No, ladies and gentlemen, gentlemen who are ladies and ladies who are gentlemen, LAPD Police Chief Willie Bratton is now Homo Hero of The Year. That should actually be flashing in disco lights to the beat of Dancing Queen but I'm having some trouble with the code.
The award, given by Queerty.com has singled out Chief Bratton for not only his public stand against Proposition 8, but also in the way that the LAPD handled the protests that sprang up all over Los Angeles after its passage.
Following a march in Silver Lake through mostly empty corporate buildings, a group of 300 or so protesters, including your editor, felt that protesting was more about taking your message to everyday people than preaching to the choir and so left the area and marched on Hollywood. The police responded quickly and blocked the advancing path of protesters. For a few minutes, the police stood shoulder-to-shoulder, inches away from a crowd shouting to let them pass.Awfully nice of them, which is, let's be honest, kind of a shift.
And then a call came. Everyone could tell something had changed as the police started to relax. An officer on a bullhorn shouted, “We’re going to let you march. We just need to set up the route. We thank you for your cooperation.” There was no doubt who ordered the go-ahead: It was LAPD Chief William Bratton.
Bratton has a certain pragmatism that I admire. In a discussion he had at Zocalo a couple years back he remarked, "I don't care if somebody's in a gang. I care if they commit a crime." I think this pretty much fits that pattern.
Congratulations, Willie. I'm sure the party will be faaabulous. Take some X and amyls with you.
Never know, might get lucky.