Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

News from the Intersection of Queer Rights and Psychology!

This intersection is particularly fascinating to me, as a psychology major and queer rights activist.  I simply had to share the news with you folks!

First up: the newest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is making some changes that advocates have been lobbying for over many years! In the DSM-V, what had always been referred to as "Gender Identity Disorder" is now being published as "Gender Dysphoria."  This is both good news and bad news.  The community has been working hard to have "disorder" removed from the name for quite some time now, and to finally have that pay off is very satisfying.  On the other hand, the fact that this is still included in the DSM at all is concerning.  Gender Dysphoria is defined as "a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender."  Now, I am uncomfortable with what is clearly a trans identity being included in a Manual of Mental Disorders at all.  The fact that "disorder" has been removed from the title is a fantastic victory for now, but I do hope this trend continues and one day queer identities will not be considered a mental condition in any way.

The next big chunk of news comes from Capitol Hill!  Congresswoman Jackie Speier (pictured above) proposed the Stop Harming Our Kids resolution.  This would ban the use of conversion therapy on minors.  Conversion therapy is focused on altering a person's sexual orientation or gender identity, and is regarded as scientifically invalid and psychologically harmful by highly qualified organizations, like The American Medical Association, The American Psychiatric Association, The American Psychological Association, The American Counseling Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics, and The National Association of Social Workers.  A similar law was passed in California by Governor Brown that prohibits mental health professionals from assigning conversion therapy to minors.  Speier is using this success to power her proposal.  I'll keep you posted on the progress of this resolution in Congress!

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