As an infrequent watcher of reality shows, I breezed by news in Morning Brew a few months ago about the new series Police Women of Memphis on TLC. I didn’t register the fact that one of the officers, Virginia Awkward, is an out lesbian until Dara interviewed her a few days later.
We knew that Officer Awkward married her partner Ashley Awkward (a former pro basketball player) in Canada two years ago and took Ashley’s last name. She told Dara that the couple planned a ceremony in Memphis to celebrate the marriage. But we didn’t realize at the time that the celebration — the couple’s two-year anniversary and renewal of vows — would be a featured part of a Police Women episode.
The episode, which aired Thursday, had some very sweet moments — and we just happen to have highlights for you.
As Officer Awkward said, the fact that she is a law enforcement officer but is prohibited by law from being her self (marrying Ashley) is ironic. But the irony doesn’t stop there. At present, the City of Memphis has no anti-discrimination employment laws that extend to LGBT individuals. So, Officer Awkward actually could be fired from the Memphis PD because she’s gay.
Perhaps Officer Awkward’s visibility on Police Women of Memphis will bring the unfairness of discrimination to the attention of TPTB in Memphis. Meanwhile, join us in wishing the best to Virginia and Ashley Awkward as they continue their journey.