U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power speaks at a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Tuesday, April 18, 2023. USAID has released its first-ever policy that seeks to promote LGBTQ and intersex-inclusive development around the world. (Screen capture via House Appropriations Committee YouTube)

USAID Announces First-ever Policy for LGBTQ, Intersex-inclusive Development

The U.S. Agency for International Development on Wednesday released its first-ever policy for LGBTQ and intersex-inclusive development.

A USAID press release notes the policy has four pillars.

• Supporting locally-led programmatic approaches that advance USAID’s commitment to localization

• Using USAID’s global development diplomacy to drive progress on LGBTQI+ inclusive development both within and beyond the agency’s programming

• Prioritizing evidence-based LGBTQI+ programming and approaches and strengthening responses through data

• Improving USAID’s response to crises that impact LGBTQI+ persons and communities

“The policy is a blueprint for USAID’s staff and partners around the world to champion LGBTQI+ inclusive development and the human rights of LGBTQI+ people through our work,” said USAID Senior LGBTQI+ Coordinator Jay Gilliam in a video his agency released. “Inclusive development means that every individual and community of all diverse identities and experiences is instrumental in the transformation of their own societies. inclusion matters because it leads to better development outcomes.”

Gilliam in the video highlighted the policy’s four goals.

• Lead through development diplomacy

• Drive evidence-based policies and approaches

• Accelerate locally-led programming

• Ensure USAID’s crisis response is inclusive

USAID Administrator Samantha Power, USAID Lesotho Country Director Smita Kumar, USAID Guatemala HIV Project Management Specialist Giovanni Melendez and Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice Executive Director Joy Chia also appear in the video.

“USAID is incredibly proud to stand for nondiscrimination, to stand for empathy and to stand for inclusion,” said Power after she and other USAID staffers raised the Progress Pride flag outside USAID’s downtown D.C. headquarters in June. “We dedicate ourselves to those values during Pride month and every day of the year.”


President Joe Biden in February 2021 signed a memo that committed the U.S. to promoting LGBTQ and intersex rights abroad as part of his administration’s overall foreign policy.

USAID and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief have delivered millions of doses to antiretroviral drugs for Ukrainians with HIV/AIDS since Russia launched its war against the country in February 2022.

Power earlier this year met with LGBTQ and intersex activists in the Hungarian capital of Budapest. A USAID spokesperson recently noted to the Washington Blade their organization has partnered with SOMOS CDC, a Honduran LGBTQ and intersex rights group, “to increase (the) LGBTQI+ community’s electoral participation.”

“As a result, LGBTQI+ political leaders received training at the Technological University of Central America and LGBTQI+ voters were better informed about the different candidates’ proposals,” said the spokesperson.

Gilliam and USAID LGBTQI+ Inclusive Development Advisor Ryan Kaminski are currently attending the Pan Africa ILGA 6th Regional Conference in Mauritius. It is taking place amid growing calls for the U.S. and the World Bank Group to cut aid to Uganda after the country’s president signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which contains a death penalty provision for “aggravated homosexuality.”

Story courtesy of the Washington Blade via the National LGBTQ Media Association. The National LGBTQ Media Association represents 13 legacy publications in major markets across the country with a collective readership of more than 400K in print and more than 1 million + online. Learn more here: https://nationallgbtmediaassociation.com/