LGBTQ Presence In National Security Efforts Around The World

Anthony Blunt

The notion of national security is a ubiquitous concept, that encompasses many facets of life. National security issues have always been of high priority to nations all around the world.

Some of the areas present in popular discourse around national security include science, technology, business and trade, education, immigration, the military, espionage, health, religion, travel, and law. Almost any public good can be analyzed in terms of its impact on a nation’s security.

Many politicians and world leaders have used sexual orientation as a perceived threat to national security, and have based discriminatory policies toward the LGBT community on this basis, so identifying as LGBTQ in this area can be somewhat of a risk.

There are, however, LGBTQ individuals that have become activists and agents in this area. This includes both famous, and notorious, individuals.  J. Edgar Hoover, the former head of America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Anthony Blunt, who led the ‘Cambridge Spies’ in Great Britain, are both in the latter category.

Gay former American, and now Brazilian, Glenn Greenwald‘s work as a journalist, in revealing Edward Snowden’s efforts at detailing U.S. government surveillance programs, has been very high profile.

An equal number of lesbian and transgender individuals also have a high profile in this area. For instance, transgender, Amanda Simpson, has been active in U.S. military administration, and Alexandra Larsson is an Intelligence Officer in the Swedish Air Force.  Tracey Hepner is gay, and works with Homeland Security, as is Leah Lauderback commander of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center.

Queerbio has listed LGBTQ individuals present in various security areas in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Great Britain, Israel, Kuwait, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden and the United States. You can read more here.

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