APA: Sessions Address Issues Affecting Gays and Lesbians

One panel discussion looks back at APA's role in breaking barriers for the LGBT community
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues were the topic of several sessions presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), held from May 16 to 21 in San Francisco.

Highlights included a May 18 panel discussion summarizing the APA's historic role in lifting the stigma against lesbians and gays. Among the presenters were Alfred Freedman, M.D., APA president when homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual; Carol Nadelson, M.D., APA's first woman president; Larry Hartmann, M.D., APA's first openly gay president; and Melvin Sabshin, M.D., medical director of APA from 1974 to 1997.

Another May 18 presentation included "In or Out? Discussion About Gender Identity Diagnoses and the DSM," a session in which panelists discussed gender identity disorder and its inclusion in the upcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.

Other sessions addressed mental health issues affecting adolescents, older adults, and people living with HIV/AIDS. During the Distinguished Psychiatrist Lecture, Jack Drescher, M.D., a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City, presented a provocative lecture entitled "When Politics Distorts Science: A Psychiatrist Reports From the Trenches of the Culture Wars."

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