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Advocacy Works: Removing Stigma, Discrimination, and Bias in Psychiatry

Advocating for Equity in Psychiatry DSM

Advocating for Equity in Psychiatry DSM

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the removal of homosexuality from the diagnostic manual of mental illnesses, also known as the DSM.

This meant that homosexuality was no longer recognized as a "disorder," which was a drastic change in the medical world and was shortly followed by significant social progress.

The Washington Post just put out a really great article about the tremendous advocacy by both community members, as well as psychiatrists of the "Gay PA." This was an underground group at the APA (American Psychiatric Association), as it was incredibly difficult to be an openly gay psychiatrist at the time, and almost certainly precluded one from being hired on the faculty or in leadership at nearly all university departments and institutions across the country.

The members of "Gay PA" later formally incorporated as AGLP in 1985, making it the oldest professional LGBTQ organization in the country. The importance of perennial advocacy and these changes are a very interesting, and often forgotten, piece of history, so I hope you get a chance to check out the article linked below! Psychiatrists decided 50 years ago being gay wasn’t a mental disorder - The Washington Post

Eric Rafla-Yuan, MD

Vice President, AGLP: The Association of LGBTQ+ Psychiatrists


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