Ban on LGBT Displomats


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The Foreign Office has at long last apologised for a ban on gay diplomats some 30 years after it was lifted.

It was pout in pace as the goivernment and securty forces were afraid that gay staff members could be open to blackmail and many of the brightest stars in the service was blacklisted and ' grounded', and theiur career prospects tharted dramatically.


I knew a doplomat decades ago who travelled all over the world for the Diplomatic Service of the UK and as he was single it was cheaper for the government to send him rather than uproot kids at school and send a whole family, so where it suited them, they used gay staff but where there was a risk - when they knew for certai someone was gay - they were thwarted and strarved of promotion, which makes little sense as my friend stated that as he was ' out ' and everyone knew he

was gay - WHO WOULD BLACKMAIL HIM - HE WAS OUT - and yet scopres of clkoseted gays withion the service were merily sent all over the wporld and to dangeropus locations but as they were seen as being ;' straight' it was okay but many were closet gays and as long as they wer ein the closet - THEY ARE MORE AT RISK OF BLACKMAIL THAN THE OUT GAY MAN... and it absolutely made no sense at all.



Sir Philip Barton said becaisus eof the misguided view, peoples careers had been ended, cut short or stopped before they could even begin. He also apologised for the ban and the impact it had on LGBT staff and their loved ones here in the UK and abroad.


The ban had been fuelled by cases such as John Vassall a clerk at the British Embassy in Moscow who was caught in a honey trap. The soviets used homosexuality, outlawed at the time to force him to pass secrets to thge KGB. He wa sjailed for 18 years in 1962.


The hypocricy between LGBT staff though has been well spoken about and hopw the closet gays hid while the out staff were percecuted and given menial jonbs with little promotion and many good people lost out and all because of the manic fear of homosexuality being a security risk while being out poses little threat to anyone.


Good that tis has come about but a long time in coming and a long time after the laes on homosexuality were legalised but it seems not if you work for the Foreign Office, who, clearly were decades behind.


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We want your stories of being gay before it was legalised.

John: I worked for many years travelling the world for the Foreign Office and back in the late 70's when I had been working for the FO for over a decade and well respected, it came out I was gay and you'd have thought I had raped Mother Superior - the chaos, the madness, the panic and the absolute fear from those above was paramount, and all they kept speaking about over and over was about the threat I placed on the agency and how I was wrong and a risk and as I asked, now that you know I am gay and everyone now knows I am gay - where is the risk ? I am out of the closet. The doors have well and truly been blown off and there is no way I was going back into the closet, so - why am I a risk...?


and the panic on their faces told a story in itself, especially as most of the staff that turned against me and damned me, were gay themselves but in the closet. I am now almost 90 years of age - a grand dame of gay men, and after some 20 years of being stuck in an office they eventually allowed me to travel for the job again and admitted at that time it was criminal what had happened to me but by then, I was much older and had absolutely no love for the FO so did the bare minimum - took the wage and the pension and retired early as they wanted to get rid of me and I have taken my pension for almost 30 years - so to coin a phrase ' Fuck them John.' It was hard in those days and having watched the youth of today and how messed up they are - with being able to be out and proud, and I do wonder how we stayed so un messed up when we had Lilly Law after us wanting to prosecute and jail us just for being gay - not for any crime or anything but - just because we liked sex with men and loved men and wanted male company.


I was born decades too early and in a small way envy the youth of today and having read your life story on your web site John makes me so envy, but I had a good innings and had good family and friends to support and felt sorry for those who had no family and killed themselves rather than face prosecution for being gay - of which over the decades past, I knew quite a few. Sad stories and these kids of today haven't got a clue, not a damned clue, what we went through so they could be free. Walter. ( London )


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