Last September, Laura Farinella became the first openly gay officer promoted to deputy chief in California’s Long Beach Police Department–and the first woman to earn that rank in the department’s 104-year history. A member of the force since 1990, she is Deputy Chief of the Support Bureau, where she manages the jail, communications and training, and emergency operations divisions. She also heads the Chief’s LGBTQ Advisory Group–a position that Farinella highlighted when she marshaled the annual Long Beach Pride Parade in May. “Being honest about who you are, in both your work and home life, is a true testament to your integrity,” Farinella affirms. “Living an honest life has allowed me the opportunity to be that bridge between the community and the police department and, as a team, address any concerns or conflicts that may arise. It is also a message that diversity is welcomed.” A graduate of the FBI National Academy, Farinella has worked in all patrol divisions during her tenure; as a commander, she oversaw the gangs and violent crime division, which includes homicide. She served as Chief of Staff to LBPD Chief Jim McDonnell before her promotion. Farinella’s wife of 22 years, Dawn, is an LBPD detective who investigates child abuse cases.
Drum roll, please! We’re excited to present this year’s 100 Women We Love—our most diverse group of out entertainers, artists, athletes, activists, business principals and elected officials yet. Each of these women is a superstar in her own right. Their achievements and contributions shape our lives —and elevate us in the eyes of the world . They’re working to raise LGBT awareness, increase our visibility and quicken our progress toward a just society.
We are extremely proud to present the class of 2012. There are no rankings or numbers. They are all leaders.