Building LGBTQ+ Communities in Germany and the United States

Past, Present, and Future

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.

A comparative examination of the history, present, and future of LGBTQ+ rights will generate new understandings, leadership skills, and policy lessons for both countries and many others around the world. This AGI project fosters cross-cultural exchange with participants from diverse backgrounds by sharing personal testimonies, successes and failures, and best practices through week-long study tours in the United States and Germany.

Project Description

“Building LGBTQ+ Communities in Germany and the United States” 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 through sharing organizational and policy best practices on both sides of the Atlantic. Participants represent the diverse, intersectional, and intergenerational LGBTQ+ community. Through policy briefs, articles, and multimedia presentations, 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, as well as policy makers, generating innovative cross-cultural results with great public and policy impact.

Given the advances in both countries, especially in recent years, as well as the continued, even heightened threats and challenges—and in light of the historical relationship between LGBTQ+ communities in the United States and Germany, it is a prime opportunity for an exchange program with study tours. AGI will bring together three cohorts with 14 participants each year (7 from Germany and 7 from the United States) to immerse themselves in various communities and policy making environments in both countries.

The focus will be threefold. First, looking to the past, the project will address how the history of the community is told and commemorated. Second, AGI will delve into the current status of LGBTQ+ individuals from policy, social, health and cultural perspectives. Finally, the project will look to the future, to identify where further advancement is necessary and how additional progress could come about.

Program Year 2023-2024

November 14-19, 2023: Orlando, Florida

April 16-21, 2024: Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia

For questions about this project, please contact Susanne Dieper, Director of Programs and Grants, at

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.

AGI provides knowledge, insights, and networks as tools to solve the challenges ahead.

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