Can I serve with my same-sex partner?

Yes. The Peace Corps accepts same-sex couples. Both you and your partner must apply at the same time and qualify for assignments in the same country. The Peace Corps will only consider you as a couple, and will look to place you at the same site. Because of this, couples sometimes experience longer application periods. Couples who have been in a committed relationship for at least a year before they begin service are better able to adapt to the challenges of the Peace Corps. Unmarried couples seeking to serve as a couple must execute an affidavit attesting to their committed domestic partner relationship as part of their applications. Same-sex couples placements are more limited than heterosexual couple placements.

See more information on how to apply as a couple.

Can you put me in touch with LGBTQ Volunteers?

Yes. Speak with a recruiter, who can put you in touch with current or returned LGBTQ Volunteers. Additionally, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Peace Corps Alumni offers resources for applicants and prospective Volunteers, including a mentor program, an email listserv, and a quarterly e-newsletter.

How will same-sex couples 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 same-sex couples that addresses safety and security issues, host family preparation, job assignments, and resources for same-sex couples (including host country LGBT organizations where available). Volunteers also often create formal and informal support groups at their post. Currently, many posts have support groups for LGBT Volunteers, women, and Volunteers of color.

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

Transgender applicants are required to provide: 1. A social security card; 2. A passport or birth certificate. If your documents have not been updated with your new gender, you will need to submit a physician’s certificate for your passport application validating whether your gender transition is in process or complete. Learn more about requirements for transgender applicants for U.S. passports.

Where can same-sex couples serve?

The Peace Corps works to foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples. Same-sex couples are not placed in countries where homosexual acts are criminalized.

Will same-sex couples be allowed to serve openly?

Communities in different countries respond differently to same-sex couples, and the environment may be different from what you are accustomed. 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 on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Returned Peace Corps Volunteers website. For more information, contact a recruiter.

Will same-sex couples receive the same benefits as heterosexual couples?
Yes, the benefits provided by the Peace Corps will be the same for all couples.