OutDiplomacy: Reflections on LGBT Service in the Diplomatic Bureaucracy

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This December 2016 brief - released by Victory Institute and Center for American Progress - looks at the impact of President Obama's appointment of six openly gay ambassadors and one special envoy, which has led to unprecedented visibility of the LGBT community within the federal government. In interviews, three of these ambassadors and their staff reflect on how the appointment of openly LGBT officials, particularly in high-visibility roles like ambassadorships, impacted the advancement of LGBT equality at home and abroad. Their observations encompassed changes in the workplace climate for LGBT people, internal policies related to LGBT federal employees, and the impact on local LGBT communities in-country. 

In the publication, Rufus Gifford, U.S. Ambassador to Denmark, said:

Being out is imperative. Policy is part of it but the cultural change matters more I think.  Having the legal protections is good but if the culture doesn’t change it doesn’t matter because you won’t feel safe at the workplace.

Read the full publication here.