In This Issue
APA’s LGBT Concerns Office: 2012 and looking ahead
In 2012, the APA Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns Office (LGBTCO) updated its mission statement to align with the APA’s mission statement: “The mission of the APA Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns Office is to advance the creation, communication, and application of psychological knowledge on gender identity and sexual orientation to benefit society and improve lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people’s lives.”
Key ongoing activities of the LGBTCO include policy analysis, development, and advocacy; serving as the secretariat for the International Network on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns and Transgender Issues in Psychology; fielding media inquiries, generating regular electronic communications and web content, and facilitating development and publication of public information resources; and supporting the work of the APA’s Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns and its task forces and working groups.
In 2012, the LGBTCO worked with the APA Office of General Council on the development of two amicus briefs: Golinski v. United States Office of Personnel Management (7/12) and Windsor v. United States of America (9/12), worked with the Michigan Psychological Association and the Div. 44 Policy Committee on restrictions affecting diversity training in graduate education legislation introduced in Michigan, continued work with the Public Interest Government Relations Office especially with regard to executive branch advocacy and federal agencies related to health in coordination with LGBT health advocacy organizations, and participated in the Minnesota Psychological Association’s 2012 annual convention in the program related to its work to oppose the November 2012 ballot measure to ban marriage for same-sex couples.
Regarding the International Network for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns and Transgender Issues in Psychology the office handled ongoing implementation of the two-year, $150,000 grant from the Arcus Foundation supporting the work of the secretariat and to build the capacity of the Psychological Society of South Africa and the Psychological Association of the Philippines to support the human rights of LGBT people in those respective regions; developed publicity for LGBT-related programming for the 2012 International Congress of Psychology, supported a track of programming, staffed a planning meeting of the Representatives to the International Network and an informational meeting about the Network open to all conference attendees; and had several Network administrative documents translated into Spanish for outreach among Latin American countries.
On the media and communications front, the LGBTCO developed successful communications for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, LGBT Pride Month, and National Coming Out Day; continued with periodic notification to office listservs with “Today at the Top” promoting new LGBTCO webpage content; provided content for the Public Interest Directorate’s monthly electronic newsletter (played a leadership role for directorate-wide acknowledgement of International Human Rights Day), periodic contributions to the APA Facebook page, and content for “tweets” from the PI executive director; and had Answers to Your Questions About Transgender People, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression translated into Spanish (will be available online once finalized).
In addition to its ongoing support of the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns, the office also provided technical support to the Joint Division 44/CLGBTC Task Force on Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Clients as the task force initiated its work.
In 2013, along with its ongoing work noted above, the office is working with the APA Office of General Council on the development of two amicus briefs for cases related to the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Prop. 8 that will be before the U.S. Supreme Court; will release an updated version of the Graduate Faculty Survey, will produce several new Web pages on the topics of LGBT Health, Aging, Bullying, Safe Schools & Interventions, among others; promote a robust set of symposia on LGBT topics at the Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii; and support working groups undertaking revising the 1993 policy resolution on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth in Schools, the public information brochure on intersex issues, and undertaking updating and revising of the publication Lesbian & Gay Parenting (which consistently ranks as the most viewed webbased resource of the LGBTCO and among the top for all of the Public Interest Directorate).