Rufus Gifford Talks Being Gay U.S. Ambassador to Denmark

2.4.2014

By Jerry Portwood

Gifford opened up about his personal experiences as a gay man in an environment where the only way to happiness was to get a wife, kids, and a dog.

US ambassador Rufus Gifford (right) and his partner Stephen DeVincent | Photography by Krestine Havemann

When President Obama nominated Rufus Gifford to be U.S. Ambassador to Denmark, it was big news to have an openly gay man serve his country in the European nation. Now, more than six months later, Danish gay publication Out and About, has featured Gifford, 39, and his partner, 54-year-old Stephen DeVincent, on its cover. 

In the four-page story, which is only available in PDF format (and in Danish), Gifford, talks with writer Henrik Salling about his personal experiences as a gay man and how tough it was coming out in an environment where the only way to happiness was to get a wife, kids, and a dog.

He also Rufus Gifford reveals how his family had to face their son and brother being gay and how the family decided to enter therapy, realizing that it wasn’t their son who had a problem, but themselves.

“So, without me, the rest of the family went to therapy," Gifford explains. "It was tough for them to issue the fact, but there was no doubt in my mind that they loved me. At that time, they just didn’t understand it. They had to redefine the word happiness.”

It's important to recall that Gifford was the key person responsible for the considerable war chest that President Obama raised in the last election, a hefty $1 billion. Gifford was the former partner of White House Social Secretary Jeremy Bernard (No. 35 on Out's Power 50 List). In this story, Gifford also talks about the friendship between USA and Denmark, and how he reacted when President Obama first time expressed his support to same-sex marriage, on national television.

“I was in Ohare Airport. On my way to Los Angeles, the day when George Clooney opened his home for the Obama Presidential campaign. I was—instantly—almost breaking down in tears, in the middle of the airport."

Check out a few more of the images of Gifford, DeVincent (and their dog).

 

READER COMMENTS ()

AddThis