In among the silencing and invisibility of their stories, queer women operate as critical leaders in international affairs. They face multiple marginalisations: (1) challenging the archetypical diplomat or security leader as a heteronormative (white) male; and (2) operating in different cultural contexts with varying negative attitudes towards women in power and homosexuality in general. Providing both empirical and theoretical contributions to the fields of diplomacy, feminist and queer theory, this article gains unique access to Australian lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, and intersex diplomats and attachés to understand: what are the experiences of queer woman leaders in international affairs?
Queer women experience deep exclusion in diplomacy, often ‘invisible’ despite their highly visible roles.
Even if not queer, women diplomats are often typified to be queer, which is emblematic of othering.
Diplomatic privilege protects queer women, providing opportunities to work in contentious spaces.
Women with wives may be best able to perform the ‘dual roles’ of diplomacy but challenges remain. </ul