Find a Mentor
The LGBT RPCV Mentor Program is our most successful outreach and recruitment project. Started in 1995, the program connects Peace Corps applicants and invitees with our members to discuss life as a gay or lesbian volunteers.
We help dozens of lesbian, gay and bisexual applicants each year who are interested in joining the Peace Corps, all seeking advice from those who have gone before.
To find a mentor, join our listserv and post your questions and concerns:
To join the LGB RPCV Listserv send a message to email@example.com.
- Sign up for our listserv, and after your subscription has been approved by our list moderator,
- Send a message to the list asking for the information or advice you are seeking.
- Identify yourself as an applicant, a nominee, placed for assignment, or someone just interested in the Peace Corps.
- Include the country or region you are interested in or have been assigned.
- Add any specific questions you might have.
There are now more than 600 participants on our listserv. They include current LGBT volunteers and Peace Corps alumni. Like most listservs, when one responds to a message from the listserv by clicking the “Reply” button, the message goes to everyone on the listserv. We use this function to encourage online discussion and the sharing of ideas. If you or someone else on the listserv wishes to reply only to the person sending a message, they would reply to the email address that appears in the “From” line in the header.
“Being a volunteer was the most amazing time of my life. I left Ghana thinking that if I died tomorrow, then it would be okay. Seriously, because I’d lived enough in the last three years to consider it a wonderful life. Nothing I have done has compared to my experience living in a rural community in a developing country. My brain and all my senses were summoned every morning when the roosters crowed and they were working until I fell asleep at the end of the day out under the stars.” - Rose Rosely, RPCV Ghana
Read Rose’s story “She Finally Gone Over the Edge“
This is only one of many stories available on our website and being discussed on our listserv and a great way to receive the information and/or advice you might be seeking about becoming an LGBT Peace Corps Volunteer.
We recommend that you:
Read these four articles on our web site:
- Gays, Lesbians and the Peace Corps: Should I or Shouldn’t I?
- A Commonsense Approach to Issues Facing LGBT Peace Corps Volunteers
- A Special Daughter in Peru
- Jamaica Peace Corps Service Leads to Gay Activist
FAQs for Applicants
What are the issues?
Lesbians, gay men and bisexuals applying for Peace Corps assignments may have questions or concerns about their acceptance by Peace Corps staff, other volunteers and host country colleagues.
What is Peace Corps policy regarding sexual orientation?
The March 24, 1994 issue of Peace Corps’ Equal Opportunity Statement addresses both Peace Corps employees and Volunteers and states the following:
“…no person will be denied opportunities because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (over 40), disability, sexual orientation, marital status, political affiliation, or union membership.”
“Discrimination based on factors that have no bearing on a person’s ability to perform his or her duties is not permitted and will not be tolerated.”
What about homophobic attitudes in host countries?
While Peace Corps can support equal opportunity and non-discriminatory policies sexual orientation within the Peace Corps organization, it has limited ability to influence political and cultural attitudes regarding sexual orientation in host countries. Homosexual activity is against the law in many host countries, and volunteers may encounter homophobic attitudes and behavior on the part of host country nationals.
Who are the members that might help me?
The diversity of our members is the greatest strength of our organization. Our members have served in more than 100 countries around the world since the Peace Corps beginning in 1961. They can provide information and advice for gay men, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people who are interested in joining the Peace Corps, but wonder what it’s like to be lesbian or gay in countries where Peace Corps has programs.