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LGBTQ+ Studies: A Resource Guide

LGBTQ+ Government Workers

This page contains a selection of resources and suggested research strategies related to LGBTQ+ government workers.

Below you will find resources which will assist you with research related to LGBTQ+ individuals and their experiences working for the government. From the late 1940s into the 1960s, thousands of federal workers were fired or forced to resign because of their sexual identity.

  • Executive Order 10450--Security Requirements for Government Employment.
  • Congressional Record & Reports. The Congressional Record and various reports provide important details about actors involved in the lavender scare. For example:
    • Congressional Report, Vol. 96, Part 4. (pages 4527-4528).
    • The Crittenden Report External . 1957. This report is notable because it went against other agencies by arguing that homosexual employees did not possess a security risk.
    • The Hoey Report. The documents gathered and generated by the Hoey committee during its six months in operation are held at the Center for Legislative Archives.
  • Search the Online Catalog using Subject Headings including: Dirksen, Everett McKinley
  • Read the CIA report on Hitler [PDF]. This report contends that Hitler was at least bi-sexual, and that the Nazi party kept a list of homosexuals for the purposes of blackmail.
  • FBI Vault. Search the FBI vault to find the investigations of federal employees suspected of homosexuality.
  • Tom Corcoran Papers. Includes material concerning the Walter Jenkins affair. Correspondence, memoranda, speeches, writings, notes, reports, briefs, opinions, testimonies, family papers, business records, newspaper clippings, printed material, and other papers chiefly documenting Corcoran's private legal practice and his government service during the first two presidential terms of Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Frank Kameny Papers. Reflects the politicization of the gay rights movement as its priorities shifted from education and information to social action and legal reform. Documents Kameny's activities as cofounder and official of the Mattachine Society of Washington, involvement in District of Columbia politics, and work as administrative counsel in trials chiefly concerning discrimination in civil service employment, military service discharges, and security clearance issues. In 1957, the Army Map Service fired astronomer Franklin Kameny because he had been arrested in California a year earlier for consensual contact with another man. Kameny was unique in that he fought back against his dismissal.
  • Lilli Vincez Papers. Correspondence, journals, speeches, writings, interviews, surveys and questionnaires, academic files, organizational files, biographical material, Vincenz family papers, press clippings, printed matter, and other papers relating primarily to Vincenz's life as a gay civil rights activist, her work to support and empower lesbians and gay men, and her documentation of the gay and lesbian civil rights movement.
  • Jan Krc papers, 1984-2017 (bulk 1984-1994). Foreign Service officer. Court memoranda, depositions, briefs, correspondence, and other material related to Krc's legal case against the United States Information Agency.
  • Center for Legislative Archives. Holds the documents gathered and generated by the Hoey committee during its six months in operation.
  • Read the McCarthy Hearings (1953-54) Transcripts, Executive Sessions of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operation.

The "Lavender Scare" was a moral panic during the mid-20th century about homosexual people in the United States government and their mass dismissal from government service. It contributed to and paralleled the anti-communist campaign known as McCarthyism and the Second Red Scare. The following resources can be found in historic digitized newspapers and other Library of Congress print collections.