The Gay Officers Action League celebrated its 37th anniversary in style — at the Edison Ballroom in the Theater District, a venue that Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill declared the most posh of all those he’s attended for the dozens of NPYD fraternal organizations.
The evening honored two NYPD officers — Lydia Figueroa and Detective Michael Dye — as well as two friends of GOAL, Krishna Stone, the director of community relations in the communications department at Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and Dominique (T.A.R.) Jackson, an activist, model, and star of “Pose.”
GOAL’s president, Detective Brian Downey, opened the evening on a serious note, observing that with all the division in US society today, “Lady Liberty is mourning.” But, he added, “her face is turned toward New York City and her torch draws power from the city.” Noting that all four of the evening’s honorees were people of color, Downey said, “We need equity for people of color in this country and we need buy-in from people of color in this country.”
Downey spoke of Dye’s role in his career as that of a mentor — who walked alongside him in his first LGBTQ Pride Parade — and thanked Stone for her critical help in connecting GOAL to activities and clients at GMHC. Stone, in turn, noted that GMHC had caught flak from another major local service organization for including GOAL in its jobs fair for transgender and gender-nonconforming clients, and said, “We did not back down.”
Commissioner O’Neill, in remarks to the crowd, said he had read widely about the police raid on Stonewall 50 years ago and “could not imagine something like that happening in the NYPD of 2019.