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

  • In 1992, APAGS had the first standing committee in APA that acknowledged bisexual individuals in its title, Committee on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns.

  • 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.

  • We again moved toward greater inclusion in 2014, when the APAGS Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns chose to change its name to the Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.

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. 

  • Allocates up to $3,000 per year for diversity-focused basic psychological science research projects.

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

  • Hosts the APAGS-LGBT Listserv mailing list 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 of APA’s Guidelines and Principles of Accreditation, which could be used by certain institutions to potentially discriminate against LGBT students. 

  • Further, 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." 

  • APAGS-CSOGD also provided input on the creation of the "APA Resolution on Gender and Sexual Orientation Diversity in Children and Adolescents in Schools," as well as the "APA Practice Guidelines for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Clients."

Convention Programming

APAGS has developed and hosted numerous programs at APA conventions to promote LGBT awareness and advocacy. These included:
  • 2010: A panel responding to the issue of California Proposition 8 and marriage equality, an LGBT social attended by more than 50 students and a letter-writing campaign to support marriage equality, resulting in over 220 letters being sent to members of Congress.
  • 2013: An ally training workshop for graduate students and a collaborative speaker panel on invisibility and hypervisibility in diverse LGBT identities in graduate training.
  • 2014: Speaker panels on discussing sex with LGBT clients and working with controversial LGBT issues in graduate training (i.e. religiously-based professional psychology graduate programs, conscience clause legislation and sexual orientation change efforts).
  • Look for more LGBT-related programming hosted by APAGS at yearly APA conventions.

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.