LGBTQ cops talk about being out and proud in Central Florida and Tampa Bay

By : Jeremy Williams
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Tom Woodard had law enforcement in his blood. His parents were both officers; his mother was a detective for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and his stepfather was a major in the Winter Haven Police Department. Woodard wanted nothing more than to go into the family business, and in Oct. 1988, he got his wish. Woodard became a deputy with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) on Halloween.

Less than a year later, Woodard’s world would be turned upside down when a fellow officer outed him as a gay man.

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LGBTQ cops in Central Florida are ready to talk GOALs

By : Amanda Espinosa
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ABOVE: GOALcfl’s founding board members. (Photo courtesy GOALcfl.com)

ORLANDO | The Gay Officer Action League (GOAL), a fraternal civil rights organization providing a safe place for active and retired LGBTQ law enforcement officers, got its start in New York in 1982.

Since then GOAL has opened several other chapters in the U.S. with the most recent one kicking off in Orlando on Jan. 26. GOALcfl, as it is called for short, is now one of four chapters that branched from the original GOALnyc.

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