Tag Archives: American Psychological Association

Gay History - April 8: The APA Removes Homosexuality As "Sickness" and Remembering Ryan White.

Gay History – April 8: The APA Removes Homosexuality As “Sickness” and Remembering Ryan White.

April 8, 1974 – The American Psychiatric Association remove its “sickness” definition of homosexuality and outrages homophobic bigots across America. 

Until then homosexuality was seen as a mental disorder and those “afflicted” could be confined to a mental institutions, undergo crude conversion therapy techniques, castration, and the possibility of being lobotomized.

“We object to the sickness theory of homosexuality tenaciously held with utter disregard for the disastrous consequences of this theory to the homosexual, based as it is on poor science,” wrote Frank Kameny in a letter to the editor of Psychiatric News published in the July 7, 1971

One of the most memorable moments in APA history came when the 1972 Annual Meeting in Dallas included a certain “Dr. H. Anonymous,” his face hidden behind a rubber Halloween mask, in the session “Psychiatry: Friend or Foe to the Homosexual? A Dialogue.”

“I am a homosexual. I am a psychiatrist. My greatest loss is my honest humanity,” he said. “How incredible that we homosexual psychiatrists cannot be honest in a profession that calls itself compassionate and helping.”

April 8, 1990 – Ryan White at age 18 dies of AIDS after a five-year battle with the disease.  Ryan became the national poster child for HIV/AIDS in the United States, after being expelled from middle school in Kokomo Indiana because of his infection. As a hemophiliac, he became infected with HIV from a contaminated blood treatment and, when diagnosed in December 1984, was given six months to live. Doctors said he posed no risk to other students, but AIDS was poorly understood at the time, and when White tried to return to school, many parents and teachers in Kokomo rallied against his attendance. A lengthy legal battle with the school system ensued, and media coverage of the case made White into a national celebrity and spokesman for AIDS research and public education. Surprising his doctors, Ryan lived five years longer than predicted but died in April 1990, one month before his high school graduation the discrimination it brought upon him and his family. – Watch Ryan’s story in the short documentary below.

American Psychological Association Goes After Donald Trump on Trans Military Ban: You Lie.

The American Psychological Association questioned President Trump’s announced ban on transgender people serving “in any capacity” in the U.S. military, a reversal of the previous administration’s decision to allow transgender military personnel to serve openly.  

“The American Psychological Association questions the reasoning behind President Trump’s call to bar transgender people from the military. We’ve seen no scientific evidence that allowing transgender people to serve in the armed forces has had an adverse impact on our military readiness or unit cohesion. Therefore, we ask that transgender individuals continue to be allowed to serve their country,” said APA President Antonio E. Puente, PhD.

Trump’s concerns about the “tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail” echo arguments underlying the Defense Department’s previous “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, Puente said. He cited research by Aaron Belkin, PhD, a leading scholar and director of the Palm Center, which has found no overall negative impact on military readiness or its component dimensions, including cohesion, recruitment, retention, assaults, harassment or morale.  “Indeed, Dr. Belkin has found that the repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell appears to have enhanced the military’s ability to pursue its mission,” Puente added.

2016 RAND report commissioned by DoD found that the health care costs of letting transgender people serve openly in the military would increase by no more than a mere 0.13 percent. 

Research has shown that discrimination is a significant source of stress for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgenderpeople and has substantial adverse effects on their health and well-being.  For decades, APA has been engaged in applying psychological science to improve the health and well-being of LGBT people. Learn more. APA has urged psychologists to take a leading role in ending discrimination based on gender identity and has called for more research into all aspects of gender identity and expression. APA’s governing Council of Representatives adopted a resolution in 2008 supporting full equality for transgender and gender-variant people and legal and social recognition of transgender individuals.  – via Press Release

American Psychological Association Unanimously Backs Gay Marriage

Well, well, well. Here’s the APA relying on science and facts to support their conclusions. Unlike some I could mention…NOM and NARTH spring to mind.

The policymaking body of the American Psychological Association (APA) unanimously approved the resolution 157-0 on the eve of the group’s annual convention, which opens here today.

The group, with more than 154,000 members, has long supported full equal rights for gays, based on social science research on sexual orientation. Now the nation’s psychologists — citing an increasing body of research about same-sex marriage, as well as increased discussion at the state and federal levels — took the support to a new level.

“Now as the country has really begun to have experience with gay marriage, our position is much clearer and more straightforward — that marriage equity is the policy that the country should be moving toward,” says Clinton Anderson, director of APA’s Office on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns.

Source USA Today