Up until the late 1990s, Foreign Service careers were denied to openly gay men under the pretense of security concerns. Jan Krc was one of the men who faced–and overcame–this form of prejudice. After being interrogated about his sexual orientation, Krc was fired from his job at the U.S. Information Agency. Instead of lying down and accepting his fate, Krc became embroiled in a decade-long legal battle. Krc–who came to the United States as a child and a Czechoslavkaian refugee–had a passionate desire to serve his country and work for the Foreign Service. Despite the many obstacles he faced, he never stopped pursuing this goal. Accepting another position at the State Department, but not in the Foreign Service, Krc ultimately exhausted his legal appeals after ten years of struggle. Seizing on a technicality, he was able to reapply to the Foreign Service and went on to serve for over two decades in Russia, Turkey, and Central Europe as a public diplomacy officer. In his oral history, Krc reflects on the ups and downs of this legal drama from his unique and engaging perspective. He is ultimately optimistic about the progress that America has made and its role in promoting LGBT+ rights across the globe.
Jan Krc graduated from Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1981. He then went on to work in a wide range of locations, including Belgrade, Istanbul, Frankfurt, St. Petersburg, and Vienna. Krc finally retired in 2018, after over 30 years of working in–or fighting to work in–the Foreign Service.