Out in the World: US LGBTQ special envoy takes first international trips
The United States' LGBTQ expert, Jessica Stern, recently embarked on her first two international trips to Asia and Europe to meet with government and civil society leaders, the State Department announced. President Joe Biden appointed Stern, a lesbian, last June as the second U.S. special envoy for international LGBTQ rights. She assumed her new job at the State Department September 27. She previously served as executive director of OutRight Action International, a globally-focused LGBTQ human rights nonprofit organization based in New York City.Stern is currently traveling to Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Sweden, in a trip that began May 31 and ends June 8. She previously went to Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, May 21-27.During her European trip, Stern is engaging with local human rights defenders and civil society representatives regarding the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons globally, with a specific focus on LGBTQI+ refugees from Ukraine, according to the State Department.Stern is scheduled to speak in a panel discussion "Equality, Diversity, Inclusion: Transforming Challenges into Opportunities" and engage with youth at an informal Q&A session at Baltic Pride's Proud Cities Summit in Lithuania, according to the announcement.