2009 CLGBTC Annual Report

Submitted by Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, Chair, CLGBTC

2009 Members: Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, Chair (2007-2009); Marvin R. Goldfried (2008-2010), PhD; Alicia A. Lucksted, PhD (2007-2009); Constance R. Matthews, PhD; (2008-2010) Michael Mobley, PhD (2009-2011), and Vic Muñoz, PhD (2009-2011).

Members to begin their term of office on January 1, 2010 are Ellyn Kaschak, PhD and Kevin Nadal, PhD.

Diversity Report

In 2009, the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns (CLGBTC) consisted of three male-identified members, two female-identified members and one transgender-identified member. Two members identify as lesbian, two as gay, one as queer, and one as heterosexual. Four committee members are European American; one member identifies as Black American and one as Puerto Rican/Boricua. The committee received diversity training on aging in 2009; the committee devoted time to reflect on this training. While the committee’s current work already aims to address many of the issues addressed in the training, the committee continued its practice of identifying underrepresented groups for which each committee member would advocate (e.g., one committee member is responsible for advocating for persons with disabilities). Though all committee members expressed their desire to be inclusive of all groups, the tradition of assigning each member a specific group on which to focus helps to ensure that the committee does not inadvertently ignore the needs and issues of underrepresented populations.

2009 CLGBTC Outstanding Achievement Award

The committee presented its awards to Sari Dworkin, PhD, and Margaret S. Schneider, PhD. Their citations follow:

The American Psychological Association Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns presents its 2009 Outstanding Achievement Award to Sari H. Dworkin, PhD, in recognition of her scholarly contributions and tireless efforts to promote the understanding and stature of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people within the field of psychology, both clients and psychologists. She co-edited with Fernando Gutierrez one of the first comprehensive texts on working with gay men and lesbians. In a time when considerably more scholarship is readily available, it is easy to forget how truly groundbreaking this book was when it was published in 1992. Dr. Dworkin has been one of the most persistent and prolific scholars to address the often forgotten area of bisexuality. She has been a constant advocate for ensuring that the “B” is fully included when we address “LGBT” concerns. Likewise,  Dworkin has been a pioneer in examining “intersectionality,” thus helping to elucidate the complexity of the LGBT community. Although her scholarship alone would qualify her for this award, her work on behalf of the LGBT community has been equally remarkable. Among a long list of contributions, she has been chair of both the APA Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns and the APA Committee on Women, as well as president and now Council Representative of Division 44. She is a mentor and inspiration to those early in their careers and those long established. As one nominator said, “She represents some of the best impulses of our field.”

The American Psychological Association Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns presents its 2009 Outstanding Achievement Award to Margaret S. Schneider, PhD, in recognition of outstanding scholarship, advocacy and educational and professional leadership. Dr. Schneider’s groundbreaking research in transgender psychology and with LGBT youth has opened up new ways of thinking about psychological practice with respect and compassion for all concerned. The landmark publication of her book, Often Invisible: Gay and Lesbian Youth remains a watershed in the history of treatment of LGBT youth and their families. The edited volume, Pride and Prejudice: Working with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth provoked a paradigm shift in practice with LGBT youths and their families. The power of her leadership is ultimately evident in her masterful chairing of the APA Task Force on Gender Identity, Gender Variance, and Transgender Issues that provided psychologists with their first report on transgender issues. Based on this report the Resolution on Transgender Issues was developed and adopted as APA policy in 2009. Schneider’s intellectual integrity and quiet courage have paved the way for better psychological care of transgender clients and increased transgender inclusion in psychology.

2009 Annual Convention Activities

  • Report of the APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation Symposium. Chair: Judith Glassgold, PsyD, Participants: A. L. Beckstead, PhD, Jack Drescher, MD, Beverly Greene, PhD, Robin I. Miller, PhD, and Roger L Worthington, PhD, Discussant: Clinton W. Anderson, PhD.

  • Resiliency and Resistance among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth. Co-Chairs: Bianca D.M. Wilson, PhD, and Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, MS, Presenters: Arnold H. Grossman, PhD, Maria Valenti, MA, and Robert W. Moeller, MA, Discussant: Gary W. Harper, PhD, MPH.

  • Opposing Discriminatory Legislation & Initiatives Aimed at LGB Persons symposium sponsored by Division 31. Presenters: Clinton W. Anderson, PhD, Vanessa Jensen, PsyD, Michael Ranney, and Judd Harbin, PhD, Discussants: Armand Cerbone and Dan Abrahamson.

CLGBTC Nominations for Transgender Nominees

The committee adopted the following proposed operating procedure in recognition of transgender individuals being nominated to and serving on CLGBTC. The procedure was sent to BAPPI for approval:

Add to B. Procedures, 7. Nominations to CLGBTC:

7.2 

In addition to considering the expertise of prospective members, the committee bears the onus of responsibility, to the extent possible and practicable, for maintaining diversity within its membership among an array of demographic variables. These variables include, but are not limited to, sex, gender identity and expression, transgender status, sexual orientation, ethnicity and career seniority. To that end, in making nominations to Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (BAPPI) for new members, the committee attempts to achieve and maintain gender balance as well as representation from bisexual and transgender individuals, ethnic minorities and early-career psychologists.

When developing its nomination slates, the committee considers the demographics of those members whose terms will continue into the following year and selects nominees who will complement the existing membership to meet the expectation of balance and diversity. To achieve gender balance, the committee ensures that the resulting composition of the membership will include at least two members who self-identify as women, at least two members who self-identify as men, and that there are no more than three members of either sex. In this way, the committee allows for the election of up to two individuals who do not self-identify within the gender binary.

Strategic Planning and Set Priorities

The committee engaged in a strategic planning process during the spring consolidated meetings. The discussion generated a set of key issues on which the committee will focus their work during the next few years:

  1. increasing the use of LGBT psychological research by practitioners and advocacy groups;

  2. encouraging quality research through advocating for the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity questions in large scale studies;

  3. improving training and education around LGBT issues; and

  4. developing further understanding around issues of aging for LGBT individuals.

Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation

The committee and other selected reviewers submitted feedback on the subsequent drafts of the report of the Task Force.  The Task Force submitted a report to the Board of Directors and to all Boards and Committees in 2009.  CLGBTC approved the report, as did the Board of Directors. Dr. Halkitis engaged in press interviews about the report, as did Dr. Judith Glassgold.

Correctional Issues for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Persons

The committee thanked Dr. Doug Kimmel for his consideration of the issues faced by LGBT individuals in corrections facilities. The committee decided that this would be a new area of business for CLGBTC in the upcoming year. Dr. Mobley agreed to take the lead on developing an item for the Committee for March 2010.

Recruitment, Retention and Training of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Psychologists & Inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Psychology Education and Training

The committee endorsed the comments authored by Division 44 on the proposed Implementing Regulations for the diversity domain of the APA Guidelines and Principles for Accreditation of Programs in Professional Psychology. CLGBTC shared the concerns raised by Division 44 and agreed that the Implementing Regulations could be strengthened by providing clear and unambiguous expectations regarding the questions raised about interpretations of Footnote 4.

Oversight of APA Leadership and Participation in the International Network On Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Concerns and Transgender Issues in Psychology

The committee received a report from Dr. Lucksted, the CLGBTC representative to the Oversight Group for APA’s participation in the International Network on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Concerns and Transgender Issues in Psychology. The International Network has identified two areas of programmatic activities:

  1. promoting greater participation and programming in the major international psychological meetings;

  2. international policy.

With regard to the first program area, the Network participated in the 2009 Inter-American Congress of Psychology (SIP) with a symposium entitled “The overflowing of desire: Psychology and homosexuality”, organized by José Toro-Alfonso, PhD, (University of Puerto Rico). One of the participants in the symposium is Ruben Ardila, PhD, (National University of Colombia), who represents the Colombian Society of Psychology in the International Network on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Concerns, and Transgender Issues in Psychology. The Network was successful in its request that the 11th European Congress of Psychology, Oslo, 2009, add lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender concerns (Topic 32) as an index term for abstract submissions. Notably, Norman Andersen (University of Bergen) Chaired an invited symposium on LGBT issues entitled: “A social psychological inquiry into the causes of homonegativity”.

The Network worked to support the Australian Psychological Society’s representative, Damien Riggs, in coordinating the development of programming for the 2010 International Congress of Applied Psychology, which will be in Melbourne, and the Psychological Society of South Africa’s representatives, Juan Nel and Carien Lubbe, in coordinating the development of programming for the 2012 International Congress of Psychology, which will be in Cape Town.

Two areas of policy on which the Network worked in 2009 were advocating for the International Union of Psychological Science to adopt a policy on sexual orientation discrimination and making recommendations to the World Health Organization regarding revisions to the homosexuality-related diagnoses in the “mental and behavioral disorders” chapter of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health.

Resolution on Data about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

CLGBTC developed a resolution for the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity items in research studies which was reviewed at the spring consolidated meetings. A conference committee on scientific and methodological challenges was requested by the Board of Scientific Affairs (BSA) to raise some concerns about the resolution. Because of BSA’s concerns, the committee decided not to send the resolution to the Board of Directors but to work with BSA to address its concerns and resubmit the resolution when BSA believes its concerns have been met. At the end of 2009, Mobley and Halkitis worked with Dr. Vickie Mays to modify the resolution in light of the recent best practices documented published by the Williams Institute. Work will continue into 2010, with a modified resolution to be presented in the Spring Consolidated meetings.