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Past Event

Secret City: How homosexuality shaped politics and foreign policy in DC

Past Event

In his New York Times bestselling book, “Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington,” journalist, author, and former Brookings Visiting Fellow James Kirchick methodically details how homosexuality and homophobia shaped successive presidential administrations in the 20th century. Poring through thousands of declassified documents, countless interviews, and material unearthed from libraries and archives around the country, Kirchick describes a dark time when gay people had to live their lives in secret or face stigmatization and condemnation.

On September 14, Foreign Policy at Brookings will host James Kirchick and a panel of experts for a discussion on the legacy and lessons of gay and lesbian history in American civil and foreign service, and to consider the ongoing relevance of LGBTQ rights issues for foreign policy and the role of the United States in the world.

This event will be open for in-person attendance or to watch online. Viewers can submit questions via e-mail to or on Twitter using #SecretCity.


Panel conversation

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