Boston Marathon Bombing | Law Enforcement | News

Gay Officer is Among Three Boston Marathon Police Responders Shown on Powerful 'Sports Illustrated' Cover


A new Sports Illustrated cover features a photo that is among the most circulated after the Boston Marathon bombings and shows 78-year-old Bill Iffrig of Lake Stevens, Washington, who was knocked off his feet by the bomb blast, along with three Boston police officers taking action after the attack.

The police officer on the right is the Boston Police Gay Liaison to the community Javier Pagan, Boston Pride reports.

The Dallas Voice adds:

Officer Pagan’s husband, Pedro, is a retired sergeant from the New York Police Department who rescued many people when the Twin Towers collapsed on Sept. 11, 2011, according to a recent profile of Pagan by a Boston CrossFit site. Pagan also escorted LGBT civil rights attorney Mary Bonauto to City Hall Plaza on May 17, 2004, when the Massachusetts Supreme  Judicial Court ruled in favor of marriage equality.

Pagan, a native of Puerto Rico who came out at 26 a year after joining the force, was profiled by the Bay Windows LGBT newspaper when he was named to the position in 2002.

While we're identifying Pagan because this site deals with many LGBT issues, we should take a moment to thank ALL first responders and everyone who stepped up in this time of crisis.

Incidentally, Iffrig was okay. ESPN spoke with him yesterday.

Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

(h/t tncrm)

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  1. And there's a woman as well - nice picture.

    Posted by: Jols | Apr 16, 2013 1:31:03 PM

  2. 2 more twin towers collapsed 2 years ago ? :Dx

    Posted by: Ant | Apr 16, 2013 1:31:06 PM

  3. Its always good to hear that one of our own is out there on the front lines, whether in the military or domestic police, defending us and helping to preserve our American freedoms.

    Posted by: andrew | Apr 16, 2013 1:31:48 PM

  4. Let the parade begin: victims, martyrs, heros and gays. Predictable. Mathematical. Tiresome.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Apr 16, 2013 1:37:19 PM

  5. You must be fun at parties, David.

    Posted by: Mikey | Apr 16, 2013 1:49:38 PM

  6. Don't be silly Mikey, David is never invited.

    Posted by: Sylvatica | Apr 16, 2013 2:10:05 PM

  7. Sometimes I type things just to see what I sound like.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Apr 16, 2013 2:15:29 PM

  8. Nice. Never heard of the man, but I've never felt I needed a special liaison to BPD. But this is a cool angle to the story.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 16, 2013 2:16:46 PM

  9. Nicely, handled. Like how you explained the focus on the gay officer while still being respectful of all first responders.

    Posted by: Bart | Apr 16, 2013 2:18:02 PM

  10. I'm sorry, but being gay did not make the man do his job,he was qualified. I'm tired of people being identified by their sexual preference unless it's an important part of the story... it's not. I am thankful for all peoples who helped,gay or straight!

    Posted by: Jerry Pritikin the bleacher Preacher | Apr 16, 2013 2:57:13 PM

  11. @Jerry: No one is saying his sexuality made him more qualified for his job than a straight person. Nor did it overlook all the other people that helped out during and after the bombing. This article is just pointing out that there are more gay people joining the police, fire and medical emergency fields, helping others in need, and bringing more positive visibility to the gay community.

    Posted by: Firestorm | Apr 16, 2013 3:07:36 PM

  12. its' also pointing out, justifiably, that people whom the still-bigoted percentage of the population choose to have prejudice and hatred toward are out there, doing their jobs, saving lives, and indeed PROTECTING AMERICA.

    it seems silly highlight that this person was gay, until you realize that this person's sexual orientation leaves him open to discrimination in most States, and the denial of rights, freedoms, benefits, etc.

    his being gay is not "what makes it important" - what makes it important is that his being gay is the reason that many in the country would choose to harbour disdain for him and promote discrimination against him - despite the evidence right here that his being gay doens't mean he's not capable of doing his job in an exemplary manner.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 16, 2013 3:15:23 PM

  13. Meanwhile, I just read a piece about the 78 year old man who just ran a marathon and got knocked off his feet -- and some people were criticizing him for not helping out with survivors. UGH! Disasters really bring out the faceless idiots.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Apr 16, 2013 4:31:53 PM

  14. Well-written post. Like others have said, I think that it did a good job of pointing out an interesting detail of one of the officers while still being respectful of the other emergency responders. This one again shows that gays and lesbians are all around us...

    Posted by: | Apr 16, 2013 4:45:56 PM

  15. No surprise there.

    Mark Bingham, of Flight 93,your spirit and your humanity will live forever and we will remember you forever.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Apr 16, 2013 4:51:33 PM

  16. In this often homophobic world we live in it's important to single out gay men and women who act in a positive matter.

    Posted by: jaragon | Apr 16, 2013 5:26:38 PM

  17. What a great response. I have a friend who was one of the runners and she told me about how generous the people of Boston are. Despite the terrible circumstance, we saw a lot of the good people are capable that.

    That said, I don' like the photograph. It looks like they are trampling the poor woman on the ground.

    Posted by: Kevin | Apr 16, 2013 6:02:59 PM

  18. Our visibility is vital in situations such as these. Because we are often depicted, by those who don't think they've ever seen or known any lgbt people in their communities (however unlikely that is) this can be a wonderful chance for education to them. I believe I read that this officers spouse was on the scene during 911 and aided people who needed help when the twin towers was being evacuated.

    To the above poster who thought it was appropriate to *yawn* during this news-story, might learn something about supporting good lgbt people who make a difference in the lives of others, whether or not it's visible.

    But then again, maybe you're much more comfortable allowing the right-wing crackpots to demonize us and portray us as the monster's it sounds like you are.

    Posted by: Gaiboi | Apr 16, 2013 7:24:31 PM

  19. Thank you Jack for bringing up Mark Bingham. We live in a world where the majority of heterosexuals think less of us because of who we are---so it is absolutely important to point out the fact that LGBT people are just as capable of heroism, being brave, being strong and being upstanding citizens.

    Thank you to Javier and all of the heroes in Boston who saved countless number of lives.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 16, 2013 7:29:17 PM

  20. So a gay police officer ends up in a famous photo and all of sudden he's a national hero?

    Get over yourselves you pompous...!

    He's no more of a hero than those girls and guys who removed their clothing to create tourniquets on those poor victimes limbs.


    Posted by: DALI | Apr 16, 2013 10:12:29 PM

  21. @dali:

    He's not a national hero, he's simply a hero (as are all of the people who helped) who happens to be gay. You might want to remember that this is a gay-oriented blog, so it's extremely relevant to this blog's targeted audience. We're proud of him (and the rest of the first responders), even if you are not.

    The person on the ground is a man, not a woman. What I found a little disconcerting (in the many videos) is how many responders ran right by him without even looking at or helping him.

    Posted by: johnny | Apr 16, 2013 10:34:42 PM

  22. @johnny

    Thanks for your calm and peaceful response. I know that this is a "gay-oriented blog" as I am a gay man myself. However the fact that some gay persons are part of "the news" shouldn't make us be complacent about it.

    I don't recall reading about "heros" in this blog other than the gay ones. That's all.


    Posted by: DALI | Apr 16, 2013 11:22:31 PM

  23. Mikey - You appear to be unaware of the practice of Kiwi and perhaps some others here who post under the names of other people with whom they disagree.

    I made no comment on this article. However, if I had it would be that to make a big deal of this officer being gay would appear vain of us.

    We already live in a world of identity politics in which the first thing people do is look for a racial angle and can't be convinced otherwise, ie Trayvon Martin.

    Look at the idiots here who are speculating that the bombing was done by "teabaggers" or "white supremacists". Really? Based on what exactly? Look at these morons jump through hoops to superstitiously hope to deflect from the obvious.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Apr 17, 2013 12:59:15 AM

  24. All this being said, the cops in the photo look like they are in the roller derby.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Apr 17, 2013 1:00:06 AM

  25. I don't feel listing one's sexual orientation is always necessary, especially in stories like this. We would all think it was odd if the article had read "Straight officer among those to immediately respond" and some would have probably even complained about it. I am gay, but sometimes just being a caring human overrides that fact.

    Posted by: Doug | Apr 17, 2013 8:00:39 AM

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