Will Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex (LGBTQI+) Volunteers be allowed to serve openly?

The Peace Corps strives to create spaces where Volunteers can openly express all their identities if they so wish. Different countries and local communities and customs have different understandings of and responses to the LGBTQI+ community. Because of these cultural differences, it is important that Volunteers approach these identities with care. It is also important for LGBTQI+ applicants and Volunteers to prepare themselves for a wide range of possibilities, which may include having to avoid openly discussing this aspect of their identity for extended periods of time. The Peace Corps will provide country-specific information once you are invited to serve, and Peace Corps staff will provide additional information and training once you arrive in-country.

Information about individual experiences can be found in the Peace Corps stories.

How will LGBTQI+ Volunteers be supported by in-country staff?

Once Volunteers are in-country, Peace Corps staff will provide them with guidance for maintaining their safety and well-being, as appropriate. To ensure productive, healthy, and safe experiences for Volunteers, the Peace Corps reviews work and housing sites in advance, collaborates on project development with local communities, and develops and tests plans for responding to emergencies. Field staff also receive training to support LGBTQI+ Volunteers. This training addresses safety and security issues, host family preparation, job assignments, and additional resources (including host country LGBTQI+ organizations where available). Volunteers also often create formal and informal support groups at their post. Currently, many posts have support groups for LGBTQI+ Volunteers, Volunteers who identify as women, and Volunteers of color.

What documents do transgender individuals need to provide when applying for a Peace Corps passport?

All individuals can select the gender marker (M,F, or X) that they wish to have printed on their U.S. passport, even if the selected gender does not match the gender on supporting documentation, such as a birth certificate, a previous passport, or a state ID. No medical documentation is required to select the gender marker on your Peace Corps passport. As non-binary passport options become available, the Peace Corps will update our process accordingly.

Does being transgender affect my ability to gain a medical clearance for service?

Please refer to the Medical and Health FAQs.

Can you put me in touch with LGBTQI+ Volunteers?

Yes. Speak with a recruiter, who can put you in touch with current or returned LGBTQI+ Volunteers.