A Chief Constable stunned the audience when she took to the stage at a community event – and came out as GAY.
Suzette Davenport, who is head of Gloucestershire Police, revealed the secret while addressing a crowd at the county’s gay pride day.
Her admission the audience stunned but cheers and applause son broke out as the 51-year-old admitted her sexuality had left her the victim of hate crime herself.
She said: “It is not tattooed on my forehead but I don’t hide it either.
“I could have stood up and talked about facts and figures but people would have switched off. Instead I thought it would be better to talk about something more personal to me.
“The police have made significant progress on these issues and we are much better than some public sector organisations but there is still some room to improve.
“We have low levels of hate crime in Gloucestershire too.
“They are significantly below the national average.
“But I want people to understand hate crime. I know what it feels like having been through it myself.”
Ms Davenport made the revelations at the Gloucestershire Pride Day on June 14 which saw hundreds of people march through Gloucester before assembling in Gloucester Park for an outdoor concert.
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Andy Harley, from the Gloucestershire Pride committee, said: “Just when we thought it wouldn’t get any better, we got to the park and she came out on stage.
“We never expected that. It was incredibly brave for someone in her position.
“She must be the only chief constable in the country to come out like that. She told people that she didn’t want to keep it to herself anymore.”
Ms Davenport had already won over participants in the march after rolling up her sleeves to direct traffic in the city centre.
Eye witnesses likened it to the Gaviscon TV advert which sees a policewoman command the traffic with the soundtrack of ‘What A Feeling’.
Andy added: “It was incredible. She just leapt out of the march and took on the traffic.
“I asked her if she still knew how to do it and she said she did. It was just like something out of that Gaviscon advert.”
Chris Marsh, bar manager at gay venue The Westgate, in Gloucester, said: “People were really impressed with her coming out on stage.
“It’s not everyday that something like that happens.”
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