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I came out on TV


Bernard explained how he came to ‘come out’ on in 1996. “Back in 1996 the programme Taggart introduced a gay character; this was the first time an openly gay policeman was on TV. In the Central Region there was this programme called Crime Stalker which was a bit of an imitation of Crime Watch, and they decided that they wanted to do a programme which was loosely around gay officers and also the relationship between the gay community and the police service. They contacted the and asked if there was anyone in the West Midlands who would get involved. The enquiry was passed on to me and I contacted a few people but we couldn’t get any women to take part even though there were lots in the force; one police sergeant did, covertly. So I said I would take part. They did offer anonymity but I refused – I didn’t want to be anonymous, I’m not ashamed of it, so I said that if I did the programme it would be my coming out. They promoted the programme as ‘tonight, on there will be a gay police officer coming out on national television.” It got a lot of national media coverage as this was the first time in the country that someone had come out on television.”

Contributed by: Bernard McEldowney, 49

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