Building LGBTQ+ Communities in Germany and the United States: Past, Present, and Future

AGI is now accepting applications for year two of a new exchange project. The deadline to apply is April 30, 2024.


This three-year project will explore LGBTQ+ community-building in Germany and the United States (2023-2026). The project aims to foster cross-cultural exchange with participants from diverse backgrounds by sharing personal testimonies, successes and failures, and best practices. AGI is recruiting LGBTQ+ participants from a variety of sectoral, intersectional, and generational backgrounds. There will be one cohort per year (for a total of three cohorts) comprised of 7 German and 7 U.S. nationals. Each cohort will experience one week-long program in Germany and one in the United States. A variety of deliverables will be part of the project throughout each program year, including written policy briefs and articles to be published digitally and as hard copies, as well as multimedia presentations in various formats. This project will reach a wide audience in both countries, not only in the LGBTQ+ communities, but also among other minority groups, the general public, and policymakers.

This program is generously funded by the Transatlantik-Programm der Bundesrepublik Deutschland aus Mitteln des European Recovery Program (ERP) des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz (BMWK) (Transatlantic Program of the Federal Republic of Germany with Funds through the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry for Economics and Climate Action (BMWK)) and the AGI Harry & Helen Gray Humanities Program.


LGBTQ+ individuals and their communities have been organizing to assert their rights for over a century, especially in Germany and the United States—two countries that were early pioneers and that have currently achieved more equality than many other places. But many challenges still persist, especially as a backlash to greater LGBTQ+ rights has been visible in both countries.

Three perspectives will structure the over-arching program. The first focus will be on the past—on the history and memory of the community. The second will be on the current situation and challenges facing the community. The third will look to the future, outlining an agenda for action and how advances can be defended from potential backlash.

The program will build and deepen relationships between LGBTQ+ community representatives from Germany and the United States; increase understanding of shared struggles and successes in the past, present, and future; and foster expertise on LGBTQ+ issues in the Transatlantic context, generating innovative cross-cultural results with great public and policy impact.

Participants will be selected from all corners of the diverse LGBTQ+ community and AGI is particularly keen to select individuals from a variety of age groups also to foster inter-generational learning. Not only will participants increase their knowledge base, leadership skills, and professional networks, but a series of deliverables—articles, podcasts, story boards, and policy briefs will be produced and widely disseminated in both countries and beyond. Selected participants are required to take part and actively engage in all scheduled events and deliverables. They must receive approval from their employer to take time off in order to participate in the in-person study tours in the United States and Germany.

The second program year will take place in New York City, NY, from September 17-22, 2024, and Munich, Bavaria, from March 25-30, 2025. Travel, accommodation, and most meals will be provided for the participants by AGI.


Selection is based on a competitive application process. Up to a maximum of seven applicants from the U.S. and seven from Germany will be invited to participate in the program.

Individuals’ qualifications and willingness to actively engage in and commit to all aspects of the program will be the primary criteria for evaluation by AGI program staff. Participants will be expected to invest some of their time throughout the project year to explore and refine the topical content through individual expertise and perspective, prepare for the meetings (virtual and in-person), and contribute to the articles, podcast, and other deliverables. The participants should be active in their communities (community/public service, local politics/media, education, or other); be familiar with the issues the program seeks to address, either through personal experience or their work; and have an interest in strengthening networks within and across LGBTQ+ communities in the United States and Germany and in supporting the transatlantic relationship.

Applications and nominations are due by April 30, 2024. Prospective participants must provide the following application materials in one PDF document (in English only):

  • a statement (1-2 pages) describing in detail the applicant’s interest in and qualification for the program,
  • a current CV, and
  • one letter of recommendation or nomination (professional or academic).

Fluency in English is mandatory. Please send application materials and/or questions about the program to Ms. Susanne Dieper, Director of Programs and Grants, at

Applicants will be notified that their application has been received after April 30, 2024.

About AGI

The American-German Institute is a center for policy research and scholarship dedicated to the most important political, economic, and security issues confronting Germany and the United States in the global arena. AGI anticipates challenges, proposes solutions, and bolsters the German-American partners.