Fire fighters are known to be a tough group who won’t shy away from any situation.But when confronting the topic of homophobia and transphobia in the fire service many wonder what is appropriate when issues arise in the firehouse.

At the IAFF Human Relations Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Florida this week, fire fighters discussed issues that have happened in their fire departments and what can be done to shatter stereotypes.

The group explored myths, language , perceptions and how the fire service relates to the LGBT community.

Building trust and being able to communicate is key.

The purpose  of the fire service is to bring quality service to citizens.

The prejudice and stereotyping will take it’s toll on the entire fire service including those communities seeking solid care.

“The fire service is built on trust,” said the moderator of the discussion. “I am supposed to trust you with my life. If I can’t trust you with my life, who I am then I won’t be able to trust you during an emergency.”

In 29 states, it is still legal to fire someone solely because they are lesbian, gay or bisexual and in 35 states it is legal to fire someone solely for being transsexual