In line with President Obama's official proclamation of June as "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month," the banner headlining the website of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) Wednesday proclaims the agency's celebration of the same, noting, "It’s also about what the IC is about: integration":
The graphic contains a quote from a March speech given by director James Clapper at the Intelligence Community (IC) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Allies (LGBTA) Summit which was held this year at the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Maryland:
[T]his isn’t just about what’s altruistically right. It’s also about what the IC is about: integration. It means having and using a widely diverse workforce, and taking advantage of all those great intellects we have, while removing as many frustrations and distractions as possible. So – it’s not just about what’s right. It’s about good business in our profession.
In his speech, Clapper noted his experiences with gay members of the intelligence community, from initially helping to expel two gay airmen in the 1960s to later, as Clapper's rank and authority grew, accommodating and retaining gays who were outed, at least in part to "atone for what happened to those two airman."Clapper closed his remarks to the LGBTA summit with a repurposing of an Arthur C. Clarke quote about "hoping to find intelligent life in Washington":
Let me finish with the words of the brilliant science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, the author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was in part about the quest to find intelligent life in the universe. He said some great things over the years, including: “I'm hoping to find intelligent life in Washington.”
Clarke, who was just way ahead of his time, also said this: “We stand now at the turning point between two eras. Behind us is a past to which we can never return.”
I’d like to think that we’re now well beyond the turning point that applies to equal opportunity and diversity for the LGBT community. Because I know, there’s no going back.