On behalf of the U.S. Department of State, Secretary John F. Kerry formally apologized Monday to the American gay and transgender community for decades of open witch-hunting the agency conducted in the mid-20th century. The diplomatic agency brazenly weeded lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees out of the department, beginning in the

1940s, in a mass firing movement that came to be associated with the “Lavender Scare” — a play on the term “Red Scare,” which described U.S. fear of communism around the same time. For members of the gay community, also known under the acronyms LGBTQ and LGBTI, the period marked a time when they were systematically outcast by their government and grouped-in with the much-feared communists and sympathizers of the time. READ MORE