What Is APAGS Doing for LGBT Issues?

APAGS advocates for its LGBT constituents through its subcommittee, the APAGS Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity (APAGS-CSOGD).

Record of Forward Thinking

  • APAGS was the first standing committee in APA that acknowledged bisexual individuals in its title (APAGS-CSOGD) in 1992.

  • In 2000, APAGS recognized the need to include transgender concerns and the subcommittee changed its name to reflect this inclusion, the first standing committee in APA to do so.

Assistance for LGBT Students

  • Developed the APAGS Resource Guide for LGBT Students in Psychology.

  • Created a mentoring program that matches LGBT graduate students with psychologists or senior graduate students. 

  • Created a Climate Guide (PDF, 229KB), a framework for students to assess the climate for LGBT individuals at universities, internship sites, postdoctoral sites or work settings. This online resource is available for download on the APAGS website. 

  • Developed a training program for LGBT students to attend APA’s leadership conferences, engage in advocacy on Capitol Hill and participate in APAGS governance meetings. 

  • Awards the LGBT Dissertation Award, a $1500 grant for a dissertation examining LGBT issues. 

  • Awards the LGBT Training Grant, a $1000 grant for a group to conduct training for graduate students on LGBT issues. 

  • Conducts convention programming on LGBT issues, such as publishing, handling microaggressions and mentoring. 

  • Hosts the APAGS-LGBT Listserv mailing list (linked) to allow LGBT students to communicate with one another in a safe environment.

LGBT Representation in Policy Development

  • APAGS-CSOGD opposed in principle Footnote 4, which could be used by certain institutions to potentially discriminate against LGBT students. 

  • APAGS-CSOGD responded to a public call for comment on implementation regulations and provided suggestions for reviewing programs that utilize Footnote 4 to ensure due process to students. 

  • APAGS provided feedback on the revision of the Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Clients.

2010 Convention

  • APAGS developed a unique program responding to the issue of California Proposition 8 and marriage equality. This panel reviewed the psychological science supporting marriage equality, the history behind Position 8 and described ways in which students can take immediate action to advocate for marriage equality. 

  • Following the advocacy session, APAGS held the LGBT Social at the Hotel Solamar, attended by over 50 students. 

  • APAGS hosted a letter writing campaign at the APAGS booth to support marriage equality by repealing the federal law prohibiting same-sex marriage, resulting in over 220 letters being sent to members of Congress.

Advocacy Collaborations with Government Relations

  • Military Readiness Enhancement Act, HR 1283, which would repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policies of the U. S. military.

  • Employment Non-Discrimination Act, HR 3017/S 1584, which would prohibit discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. 

  • Ending Health Disparities for LGBT Americans Act, HR 3001, which includes APA’s legislative priorities for LGBT health issues. 

  • Every Child Deserves a Home Act, HR 3827, which would prohibit States from delaying or denying adoption or foster care placements based on the prospective parent’s sexual orientation or marital status. 

  • Uniting American Families Act, HR 1024/S 424, which would grant binational same-sex couples equal treatment under immigration laws by allowing them to sponsor their partners for immigration purposes.

Policy Statements

  • Encouraging research and clinical work on the impact of hate crimes, including sexual orientation and gender identity. 

  • Opposing discrimination based on sexual orientation in the military. 

  • Opposing discrimination in civil marriage based on sexual orientation. 

  • Supporting passage of laws that protect gender identity. 

  • Supporting affirmative multiculturally competent treatment that addresses the distress individuals may have about their sexual orientation.


APAGS remains fully supportive of LGBT students and will continue to embrace LGBT issues as part of its advocacy agenda.