In This Issue
Reflections from past Div. 44 newsletters
By Doug Kimmel, PhD
President Randy J. Georgemiller cited the slogan “Change we can believe in,” because it expresses what he sees as significant progress and transformation which is taking place within our division.
Transgender and Gender Variance Co-chair lore dickey reported, “On Saturday, January 17, 2009 I not only witnessed an historic moment, I also played an active part in affecting history. The Executive Committee of the Society for the Psychological Study of LGB Issues (DIV 44) voted unanimously to change the name of the division by adding Transgender.”
The Div. 44 Executive Committee adopted a policy and procedure for endorsing APA President-Elect candidates. The EC will publish its final recommendation regarding endorsement in the upcoming Newsletter and on the listserv.
Bonnie R. Strickland, upon receiving an Elder Award at the 2009 National Multicultural Conference and Summit, began her remarks: “I have been privileged to receive other honors in my life but none means as much to me as this Elder Award. It seems to come not for what I've done but for who I am. It marks a place in my life where I am many years and many miles from my growing up in the South torn across boundaries of Black and White, male and female, sin and salvation, pride and shame, hospitality and hate. This is a remarkably integrative, affirming and blessed recognition, an unconditional positive regard, for which I am so grateful.”
Judith Glassgold, President, noted the decisions of the Massachusetts Supreme Court and the court of Appeal for Ontario (Canada) upholding the rights of same-sex couples to marry. She also noted the backlash at the federal as well as the state level to ban same-sex marriage.
“Madeline H. Wyndzen (pen name)” wrote an expanded letter to the editor regarding the mental illness model of transgenderism. “I find that the mental illness label imposed on transsexuality is just as disquieting as the label that used to be imposed on homosexuality.”
Martin Rochlin's obituary noted he was one of the pioneers of gay-affirmative psychology and a founding member of Div. 44. In addition to being the first openly gay psychologist in Los Angeles, he was also a musician who played nightclubs and worked with Judy Garland, Peal Bailey, Eartha Kitt, Martha Raye, and Billie Holiday.
David Haltiwanger, one of the original members of Div. 44 wrote about the National Coalition for LGBT Health.
Maryka Biaggio wrote on Addressing Institutional Sensitivity to Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Individuals and Groups.
Abbie Goldberg, a Scrivner Award Recipient, wrote an article titled “The Transition to Parenthood for Lesbian Couples: Changes in Roles and Responsibilities.”
President Steven James, a Native American psychologist, wrote of his reactions to the first National Multicultural Conference and Summit: “The prize of acceptance and tolerance for queer psychology is still out of reach in our profession.” He noted the positive presentations, but also that “a majority of the Summit participants did not challenge the use of religious beliefs as a justification for anti-queer prejudice.” Our greater involvement is needed.
Kristen Hancock and Armand Cerbone reported that the Guidelines for Psychotherapy with Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Clients have been approved by the Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest.
Committee reports by Emily Page and Ron Fox (Bisexual Issues), Roxanne Uradomo (Ethnic Minority Affairs), Davina Kotulski and Randy Georgemiller (Public Policy), and Linda Wilson (Women's Health) were printed.
Douglas Deville reported on the Membership Satisfaction Survey of 180 respondents. The Executive Committee responded by discussing the need for a membership directory, state or regional Div. 44 meetings, coordination of public policy work with APA, fund raising, and highlighting the affiliate membership opportunity for those who are not APA members.
Andrew Boxer's obituary noted his contributions on the life course of lesbians and gay men from adolescence through mid-life, including Children of Horizons, with Gilbert Herdt, on normative development of gay and lesbian teens.
Olivia Espin, President, reported that APA Science Leader's Meeting has invited Div. 44 to send Cynthia Gomez which will increase our profile as a science division. She also noted, sadly, Bill Bailey, APA Public Policy staff person frequently involved with Div. 44 issues, passed away recently.
Clinton Anderson reported that for the first time the National Institute of Mental Health has been approached by a science organization (APA Committee on Lesbian and Gay Concerns) in the area of lesbian and gay issues.
Evelyn Hooker sent a hand-written letter praising the first volume of Lesbian and Gay Psychology, the annual edited by Greg Herek and Beverly Green: “My impulse is to show it to all those skeptics in 1957 who thought I was wrong. I want to hold it up and say, ‘didn't I tell you!' It is a dream come true! Empirically and scientifically solid.”
Esther D. Rothblum reviewed Psychological Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Male Experiences, edited by Linda D. Garnets and Douglas C. Kimmel. “The quality of articles is excellent…. This book… will be a classic in the field.”
Al Sbordone described his study of 78 openly gay men who chose to become fathers. They reported increased need to disclose their homosexuality to others, called for repeal of laws that interfere with gay adoptions and for new laws that allow joint adoption and ensure parental rights, and for support groups that address these unique experiences.
Adrienne Smith noted that she became President six months prematurely because Alan Malyon died of lung cancer in December, age 47; he would have been serving this term. A memorial service will be held at the APA convention during the time reserved for his presidential address.
The Association of Lesbian and Gay Psychologists (ALGP) provides the hospitality suite at the APA convention, sponsors the annual leadership conference, and lobbies APA for lesbian and gay affirmative practices.
Allan Pinka, past Secretary-Treasurer of ALGP and later Div. 44, died of AIDS just two years and four months after Harley Knight, his lover of 16 years. Allan worked closely with Alan Malyon in professional matters and their friendship was a testament to the love of brother for brother. Alan's partner of 13 years, Allen Chivens, helped Allan through the difficult years following Harley's death. Since Allan went into a coma before he learned that Alan Malyon had died first, neither knew of the other's death.
A featured speaker at convention will be Karen Thompson, whose lover, Sharon Kowalski, recently won a major victory in establishing her right to select her caregivers.
The division's Executive Committee sponsored a seven-hour workshop on racism, sexism, and homophobia.
Clinton Anderson reported that APA filed an amicus brief in the case of Sergeant Perry J. Watkins, discharged from the Army for being gay. APA Council voted to consider state laws criminalizing consensual adult sexual behavior in private in the selection of future convention sites.