Role models of greatness.

Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Javier Pagan

Gay Boston Policeman Javier Pagan
Among Boston Bombing’s First Responders

The cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated magazine shows three Boston policeman assisting a fallen Boston Marathon runner who was knocked off his feet during Monday afternoon’s bomb blast, although he recovered enough to complete the race.

The policeman at the far right of the photograph is Javier Pagan, the Boston Police Gay Liaison to the city’s LGBT community. Officer Pagan, who was patrolling the finish line, happened to be standing right behind the flags where the first bomb went off. Boston Globe photographer John Tlumacki stated that, “my photograph was taken about one second after the first explosion. The runner was blown over by the blast and fell to the ground. The cops were just reacting as cops. They didn't know what was going on. They're pulling their guns out, looking left and right. They were close to where the explosion went off and could have been killed or injured also.”

It seems heroism runs in the family. Officer Pagan’s husband of four years, Pedro Velazquez, is a retired sergeant from the NYC Police Department who rescued many people when the Twin Towers collapsed on September 11, 2011. The couple live in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. Javier Pagan, age 42, is a native of Puerto Rico who grew up in Boston. He came out as homosexual a year after joining the police force, and in 2002 he was profiled by the Bay Windows LGBT newspaper when he was named to the Gay Liaison position.

Pagan (at left in photo with husband Pedro) is a member of the Gay Officer's Action League (GOAL), a national organization of gay law enforcement officers. He says he personally hasn't experienced any repercussions for being out on the job, nor is he aware of homophobia on the part of police officers when dealing with the gay community. “People's main concern is..., ‘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.”

Javier Pagan also had the recent honor of escorting LGBT civil rights attorney Mary Bonauto to a celebration at Boston's City Hall plaza on the day same-sex marriages became legal in Massachusetts.

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