In Memory of Julie Frank, formerly of Greater Manchester Police
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Julie Frank, who was the first recipient of the inaugural Alan Turing Memorial Award 2012 at the then Homo Heroes Awards. A police officer for 30 years, she was one of the first openly-gay police officers in Greater Manchester Police and in the country.
Commenting on the sad news, Paul Martin OBE, chief executive of LGBT Foundation said:
"Julie was an inspiration to many of us and her passing so early is very sad. At a time when LGBT equality was just a dream, Julie was out on the frontline, quietly and oh-so-politely ensuring that LGBT police officers and staff were treated fairly, and with dignity and respect.
"Julie was always a charming yet determined LGBT activist and everyone from Chief Constables to officers on the beat were persuaded to be kinder and more generous to their LGBT colleagues, all because Julie was able to humanise LGBT equality in a way that few could emulate.
"She was someone who many of us admired and she has played an important part in our community's history. Her legacy is a GMP that is more inclusive and equitable of LGBT people. On behalf of the LGBT communities of Greater Manchester, everyone at LGBT Foundation would like to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts."
Smyth Harper, LGBT Foundation chair, added: "Julie was a quiet whirlwind. She was passionate about policing, and passionate about equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people. She took that passion and energised it, blazing a trail which brought about real, meaningful and lasting change in policing, not just in Greater Manchester, but across the land.
"Over the course of her career, Julie was an instrument for change in GMP. GMP was transformed from being a service notorious for its prejudice against LGBT to one that is now perhaps one of the most open and accepting police services in world. It was a source of quiet pride for Julie that each year, men and women from GMP and from police services across Britain would participate in the Manchester Pride parade. It was, and is, the biggest police contingent in any Pride parade, not just in the UK, but across the world. That's just a small illustration of the change that Julie didn't just witness, but was instrumental in bringing about.
"The world is a little darker today. Our community has lost one of our most important activists, although she would have been mortified to be described as such. But as we mourn, we can also celebrate because Julie left a legacy. Julie made a difference."