International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHoBiT) is a day which aims to unite our community against the hate that’s directed towards LGBT+ people. There are many tools at our disposal for fighting hate; education, raising awareness, creating empathy and understanding are powerful drivers for positive change in society. One thing that is often overlooked is love and it’s motivational power to drive positive change.
“Hate doesn’t end hate. Love ends hate.” – Andrew Garfield
A wise person once said, “Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate”, these words are ones I choose to live by. I choose to celebrate the things I love over the hate around us.
“Love and hope can conquer hate.” – Barack Obama
I love my job, I love being a police officer, I love supporting communities to be safer, I love helping victims of crime gain access to justice, I love supporting my student officers to succeed in becoming fully fledged officers, I love my colleagues, I love my hometown Belfast. That love I feel, drives me. It pushes me on, when hatred gets me down. Love for those things doesn’t mean that I don’t want them to change. It means I want the best for them, I want my police service, my colleagues and my home to be the very best they can be.
I haven’t always drawn on love and there have been times when the hatred I see in the world gets on top of me and I bite back in anger. Especially when I see hate directed towards vulnerable people and communities. Hate must be opposed, there is no place for hate, but in my experience meeting hate with anger can create even more harm. Anger as a motivator isn’t sustainable, it burns you out after a while. Using love as your motivator sustains and empowers you, it can empower and inspire others around you to act. Anger can alienate those around you and make allies harder to find. No one achieves anything alone, allies are key to achieving anything.
I’ve found drawing on those positive emotions has given me greater resilience and proven much more productive than drawing on negative emotions like anger.
“The price of hating other human beings is loving yourself less.” – Eldridge Cleaver
Going forward, I’m going to continue to let the love I have for my community, my colleagues and the place I live in drive me. There’s no place for hate in my life. Love always wins.
Written by Police Constable Paul Bloomer, Co-Chair of the Police Service NI LGBT+ Network, Regional Representative and National Comms Lead.
You can find more information about PC Bloomer in the ‘Our Role Models’ area here