One of the most important organizing principles of my work has to do with collaboration. In the LGBT community, we work more efficiently – and are more powerful – when we are able to share our expertise and join forces on projects relating to any number of social or political issues. Whether the issue is in the legal or judicial arena, such as marriage equality or fighting “don’t ask, don’t tell”, or in the domain of personal growth, I have found that psychological science invariably has a contribution to make. Our advocacy is stronger when we partner with related organizations or experts. In the spirit of collaboration, let me share with you some of my most valued points of connection:
The Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns at the American Psychological Association is the premier psychological resource for information about sexual orientation and gender identity. Reports are available on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation, Psychological Aspects of Gender Identity, Lesbian/Gay Parenting and Adoption, as well as the Guidelines for Psychotherapy with LGB Clients and APA’s numerous policies aimed at reducing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The work of Dr. Greg Herek, a Social Psychologist who is the world’s foremost theorist and researcher on the subject of sexual prejudice (also known as homophobia) and its psychological effects can be found at his website. This site is a treasure trove of data on public opinion and attitudes about sexual orientation, as well as Dr. Herek’s articles and essays on hate crimes, and the effects of all forms of anti-gay discrimination.
The collective of practitioners and healers dedicated to the integration of psychotherapy and health care with social justice initiatives is found at Therapeutic Justice Project. This site, facilitated by Dr. Stacey Prince, provides information about ongoing initiatives in which psychotherapists and other health care professionals can activate their energies on a wide range of issues relative to social justice.
It goes without saying that LGBT individuals and their allies are often survivors of various kinds of trauma. Whether the trauma is related to overt acts of violence and discrimination or the insidious effects of other kinds of prejudice-based behavior, the work of Dr. Laura Brown is an invaluable resource. Dr. Brown is the foremost scholar/practitioner working in the areas of feminist theory and trauma.
The work of Dr. Jack Drescher is important for anyone interested in knowing the history, politics, and implications of so-called reparative or sexual orientation conversion therapy. A scholar in the psychoanalytic tradition, Dr. Drescher’s work is essential reading for anyone interested in an in-depth understanding of the conversion therapy industry.
A more culture-focused examination of the religious right and its investment in the conversion therapy industry is available at Truth Wins Out. Wayne Besen, TWO’s Executive Director, creates a weekly log that is dedicated to combating misinformation and bigotry-inducing invective produced by anti-gay political and religious groups.
World Professional Association for Transgender Health is the international organization dedicated to the promotion of health, education and advocacy for transgender individuals.
There are a variety of academic psychologists whose work I value greatly, and am pleased to cite often. I encourage you to check out the work of Drs. Susan Cochran (UCLA), Beverly Greene (St. Johns University), Roger Worthington (University of Missouri), Henny Bos (University of Amsterdam), and Elizabeth Cole (University of Michigan). These scholars' research, lectures, and other professional activities can be accessed on their web pages which are associated with their academic institutions.
Division 44 of APA is the home for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender psychologists in organized psychology. It has been our “home base” for nearly thirty years, as well as being the organization sponsoring a variety of gay-affirmative policies and programs within psychology.
The National Multicultural Summit is the bi-annual meeting of APA’s Divisions and members interested in the study of multicultural issues in psychology. From my perspective, it is the absolute highlight of all APA meetings; the upcoming session is in Seattle in January, 2011. Not to be missed!