THE RISE OF GAY SPIES
By Samuel Leighton-Dore
Despite the countless hetero-heavy spy film franchises of recent decades, it was once believed that gay men made for particularly skilful spies and secret agents, given the secrecy already inherent to their private lives. Throughout the Cold War there were so many homosexual agents working in the Comintern (Communist International) that it was dubbed the “Homintern”. This was obviously complicated by the unfortunate criminalisation of homosexuality in the 1960s. However, it seems the elusive gay spy is making a timely comeback.
Over 60,000 employees from 400 companies recently participated in an anonymous survey for Stonewall in the UK, revealing that domestic intelligence agency, MI5, is now the country’s most gay-friendly employer. This comes as a pretty big surprise, considering the same company once enforced an historic ban on all gay employees. It’s believed the ban was put in place following the discovery of two gay British spies leaking super sensitive Intel to Russia in the 1950s.
Gays and their gossip, right?
“MI5 have made fantastic strides in creating an inclusive workplace. This is an amazing achievement and demonstrates just how seriously diversity and inclusion is taken,” shared Stonewall chief executive Ruth Hunt yesterday.
Andrew Parker, the current head of MI5, released a statement saying: “Diversity is vital for MI5, not just because we rely on the skills of the most talented people whoever they are, wherever they may be. This accolade from Stonewall is a great acknowledgement of the continued progress we have made over recent years in ensuring we draw on the widest possible pool of talent in our vital work.”
It’s believed the company has been proactive in increasing staff diversity over recent years, even implementing a “reverse mentoring” scheme that partners up straight managers with gay junior staff.
“People from all minority communities do have experience of getting on with people who are different or of fitting in. They are also good at doing these things in a way that is not conspicuous,” said ex-director of Stonewall, Ben Summerskill.
We at Heaps Gay reckon a saucy homoerotic subplot could be exactly what future James Bond films need to bounce back from 2015’s disappointing Spectre.