A gay MI6 officer has said that the British government intelligence agency is one of the best places to work if you are a gay man or woman.
Speaking to London’s Evening Standard, a spy known as Dan said that he worried whether he would be accepted as a gay man in the organisation, where LGBT people were once banned as they were perceived to be a security risk and subject to blackmail.
“On my first day I was very nervous — I’d had some bad experiences in previous jobs with homophobic bullying. But as I started to come out I realised people were supportive here,” he told the newspaper.
“So I came out more in the first three weeks here than the rest of my life. I can’t think of any job I have had where I have felt so welcomed.”
Another officer, Claire, said that in the past 10 years MI6 has enthusiastically embraced diversity, and that LGBT people bring different perspectives and opinions to the agency’s work.
During this year’s Pride celebrations in London, MI6’s headquarters were lit up in the colours of the rainbow flag, and the agency came 20th in this year’s Stonewall list of LGBT-friendly employers.
Perhaps appropriately enough, MI6 is based in Vauxhall in South London, one of London’s gay villages.