Moments after the second blast with smoke from the bombing yet to clear, Boston Globe photographer John Tlumacki snapped this image of three Boston police officers assisting fallen runner Bill Iffrig. The photo, which manages to crystallize so many aspects of yesterday’s events, has since gone viral and is being used for Sports Illustrated’s latest cover.
In a post on its Facebook page Tuesday, first reported Tuesday morning by the Dallas Voice, Boston Pride wrote: “The police officer on the far right is a good friend of Boston Pride!” That officer, Javier Pagan, is the department’s LGBT liaison and has quite a story.
Pagan came out in 1996, a year after joining Boston PD:
“Literally I’ve always known that I was gay, I just really never — I grew up in a Catholic home and I’ve got three older sisters, and being Hispanic, it’s the big “machismo” thing […] “When I came out my family was completely like, `Who were you fooling? You’re not fooling us, ‘” he laughs. “But it was — in all honesty, I’ve had the best support from my family, my friends, even my colleagues. Like I said, I wasn’t fooling anyone but myself.”
In a recent profile for CrossFit, Pagan discussed his marriage:
“I have been married for 4 years; my husband (Pedro) is a retired Sergeant from New York Police Department. Who during September 11, 2001 help rescue many people when the towers collapsed.”
And this quote from 2002 could just as well apply to the bravery Pagan and his colleagues demonstrated yesterday:
“People’s main concern is going to be, ‘I don’t care whether you’re black or white, gay or straight,’ when I need help, I just want someone there. I think when people see me walking through they don’t see me as a Hispanic gay man, I think they see me as a police officer. And that’s all that should matter.”
(H/T The Dallas Voice)