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Former Royal Navy Officer Advocates for LGBTQ+ Engineers

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InterEngineering cofounder Peter Gracey

"Find a way to demonstrate that you value diversity in your workforce," Gracey says.

Credit: IEEE Spectrum

Since coming out in 2009 at the age of 44, Peter Gracey has dedicated himself to setting up support networks to help LGBTQ+ engineers find their voice. A former officer with the United Kingdom's Royal Navy, Gracey is cofounder of InterEngineering, a nonprofit dedicated to greater inclusion in engineering.

"One of the things that struck me after coming out was how much time I spent hiding who I was," he says. "It took a lot of effort to be conscious of not giving the game away, and all that effort could have been expended on other things."

In 1983 after graduating from high school, he enlisted as a naval engineer. After completing officer training, he attended the Royal Naval Engineering College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in engineering in 1987.

At some point during his naval career, he had realized he was gay, but he kept this fact hidden for fear of losing his job. But in 2009 he realized he couldn't keep things hidden any longer. "I got to the point where I said, 'I can't do this anymore.' "

From IEEE Spectrum
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