The Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) is showing its support of the LGBTQ community this Pride month, in a number of ways. One that’s sure to garner the most attention is the new t-shirt the department is rolling out.
“This t-shirt is one fun way for both sworn and civilian employees to come together to show that support to the LGBTQ+ members of our community, including those within our own department,” said Catie Poole, MNPD’s first LGBT liaison who was recently promoted to sergeant. “I want the LGBTQ community to know that we as the MNPD stand with you and among you. We bleed all colors, not just blue.”
In addition to showing support with the shirts, the department is donating the proceeds to benefit the Oasis Center. “We have chosen the Oasis Center to be the recipient of the proceeds from the sale of these shirts because they have a very influential impact on the lives of many of our LGBTQ youth in Middle Tennessee,” Poole added. “Having a safe place to grow is very important for our young people, as they discover who they are and develop lasting friendships during some of the most complicated times of their young lives. The Oasis Center also helps many LGBTQ youth who are homeless as a result of coming out to their families. The youth are the future and we need to ensure they are given every opportunity to succeed.”
From Pam Sheffer, director of LGBTQ programs at Oasis Center, described their primary outreach: “Just Us is a collection of programs at Oasis Center dedicated to helping lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth to achieve their full potential. Specifically, Just Us provides LGBTQ+ high school students a liberating space where they can be authentic and celebrate the fluidity of their identity. Established in 2012, Just Us has provided positive youth development services as well as free counseling services to over 500 LGBTQ youth living throughout Middle Tennessee.” Just Us has also been named one of the Grand Marshals of the Pride Parade.
Those interested in buying a shirt and donating to benefit LGBTQ youth may contact Sergeant Poole at [email protected]. She will organize pickup times at the Midtown Police Precinct (1441 12th Avenue S.), once orders arrive. Payment will be due at the time of pickup. Cash is preferred, but payments via Paypal, Venmo, etc. may be an option.
Poole anticipates having to make an additional order to fulfill requests, so there is a possible turnaround time of greater than 2 weeks when the first printing runs out. The first shipment should arrive late next week.