The Intelligence Community has openly celebrated Pride Month for over a decade, but we haven’t always been the best Ally for the LGBTQ+ community.
“Visibility Matters” in the Intelligence Community
Story by Jessica Hrabosky, ODNI Office of Strategic Communications
The Intelligence Community has openly celebrated Pride Month for over a decade, but we haven’t always been the best Ally for the LGBTQ+ community. Before the complete repeal of executive order 10450 that prohibited the federal government to deny security clearances to members of the LGBTQ+ community, there were years of judgement, in many cases supported by policy, within the Intelligence Community.
In the past, if you were anything other than heterosexual, in many circumstances, you risked being pushed out of the government or fired. For most of the LGBTQ+ community, this caused individuals to hide their true selves in the workplace just to keep their jobs. If you were openly LBGTQ+, investigations were much more intrusive and IC colleagues often distanced themselves.
Today, individuals still face challenges coming out, not only in a government workplace, but in everyday life. The ability to be authentic and not hide who you are enables officers to focus on their work, which is ultimately what drives the mission and why individuals choose to work in the IC.
As the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the leader of all 18 agencies, ODNI is committed to lead the IC in advancing an inclusive, diverse, equitable and safe work place environment for employees to thrive.
This Pride month, ODNI’s theme “Visibility Matters” emphasized the importance of raising awareness for the LGBTQ+ community not only in the workplace, but to a larger audience outside of the IC. It’s important that all officers, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, feel comfortable being themselves in an open and inclusive environment. “Visibility Matters” also encourages today’s officers to be role models for the next generation as members of the Intelligence Community. ODNI seeks to hire and retain a diverse workforce to ensure that all Americans who want to join the ranks and serve their country are able to do so, without fear of retribution for living their truth.
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