Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists (AGLP)

January 1, 1998

The Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists (AGLP) is a professional organization of psychiatrists, residents, medical students and supporters, which serves as a voice for the concerns of lesbians and gay men in the professional psychiatric community. AGLP is committed to fostering a more accurate understanding of homosexuality, ensuring well-informed and appropriate treatment for lesbians and gay men, and opposing discriminatory practices against gays and lesbians in our society.

The Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists (AGLP) is a professional organization of psychiatrists, residents, medical students and supporters, which serves as a voice for the concerns of lesbians and gay men in the professional psychiatric community. AGLP is committed to fostering a more accurate understanding of homosexuality, ensuring well-informed and appropriate treatment for lesbians and gay men, and opposing discriminatory practices against gays and lesbians in our society.

AGLP had its origins in the 1970s, when a few gay psychiatrists, who had to be very discreet about their orientation, worked to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Following this, they formed a caucus of gay and lesbian psychiatrists, which began to meet for socialization, support and advocacy. Out of this group emerged the AGLP, which is an allied organization of the American Psychiatric Association. In addition, the caucus helped foster the formation of the Committee on Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual issues, a standing committee of the APA. The caucus makes up part of the larger group of underrepresented minority caucuses, and has two representatives who may serve in the APA Assembly. Although the caucus and the committee are official bodies of the APA organization, much of the discussion and planning addressing gay and lesbian issues takes place in the AGLP.

The AGLP meets formally two times a year, in association with the APA's fall organizational meeting and the annual meeting. A newsletter is published four times a year, free to members. For the last two years, the AGLP has sponsored a two-day course on Treating Lesbians and Gays in Psychiatric Practice, with support of the APA. AGLP also was instrumental in elevating the Committee on Psychiatric Aspects of AIDS to a full commission.

Currently, AGLP is involved in planning courses for Toronto and the Institute in Los Angeles next year.In addition, there are efforts to ensure that medical schools and residencies provide appropriate and relevant education about gays and lesbians. Some of our members have begun reaching out to other countries through international meetings like that of the World Psychiatric Association, to help support gay psychiatrists in other countries and to combat homophobia, misinformation and oftentimes violent discrimination toward homosexuals.

For further information, or to join our organization, contact our executive director, Roy Harker, at our national office in Philadelphia (215) 925-5008, or our Web site at http://members.aol.com/aglpnat/homepage.html.