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Gay Ambassador Rufus Gifford: America’s First Handshake!

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confirmation wouldn’t come until late December. Gifford had been waiting for 10 months. “Good things come to those who wait,” I told him.Gifford was sworn in on January 3 in Washington and is now the highest-ranking LGBTQ+ person ever at the State Department.

Arguably, based on my humble opinion, Gifford’s role is the second most important job at Foggy Bottom, ranking behind only Tony Blinken, who is secretary of State.As chief of protocol, Gifford is President Biden’s liaison to other countries and their leaders.

To put it another way, when a world leader touches down in the U.S., the first hand they will shake, once they step off the plane, will be Gifford’s, and he will be the first person to welcome them to America.“I’m so excited to get back into diplomacy,” Gifford told The Advocate.

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