TOWARD LGBTQ NON-DISCRIMINATION AND INCLUSIVITY: WHAT WE KNOW & WHAT WE NEED
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On October 25, 2016, Dr. Kim A. Case and Dr. Kevin Leo Yabut Nadal presented at a SPSSI-sponsored Congressional Lunch Seminar on the topic of discrimination against and inclusion of LGBTQ-identified individuals and communities. The seminar was hosted in conjunction with the Honorable Jim McGovern and attended by close to 100 congressional staffers and professionals from advocacy, association, and other nonprofit organizations.
Drs. Case and Nadal kicked off the seminar by defining some key terms, such as sexual orientation, gender identity, microaggressions, institutional discrimination, and intersectionaility. They noted the importance of LGBTQ non-discrimination right now, as new strict voter ID laws have the potential to disenfranchise thousands of transgender voters, and as there are numerous ongoing state and local attempts to circumvent the 2015 Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality.
The research they presented aligned with a number of policy areas, including education, employment, health, violence, and homelessness. Drs. Case and Nadal discussed some of the poorer outcomes faced by LGBTQ-identified individuals in these domains (e.g., lower rate of high school completion, higher rate of suicide, higher rate of on-the-job harassment, lower rate of health insurance) and paid special attention to the intersections of race and ethnicity, noting—for example—that LGBTQ people of color experience a higher prevalence of health disparities than LGBTQ White people and that the majority of LGBTQ homeless are people of color.
Drawing from “what we know,” Drs. Case and Nadal emphasized “what we need” moving forward:
- LEGAL PROTECTIONS and EXPLICIT INCLUSION. Policies should enumerate LGBTQ people as a protected class of people, and such protections should extend beyond marriage equality to also encompass settings such as education and employment.
- FUNDING/GRANTS. The importance of research on LGBTQ individuals and populations should be reflected in what we fund.
- DATA/RESEARCH. Data inclusion and data disaggregation is especially important in understanding the needs of LGBTQ people; sexual orientation and gender identity should be included in federal data collection and disaggregation.
- TRAINING. The people and institutions that serve LGBTQ people and communities—from schools to hospitals to criminal justice systems--need to be culturally competent, and training should be specific to LGBTQ people and populations.
After the presentation, Drs. Case and Nadal took questions from the audience. They also visited with staffers affiliated with the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Dr. Kim A. Case is a social psychologist and Fellow of the American Psychological Association. At the University of Houston-Clear Lake, she serves as Director of the Applied Social Issues Psychology Master's concentration and Director of Undergraduate Psychology. Her mixed-methods research examines ally behavior when encountering bias and interventions to increase understanding of intersectionality and systemic privilege, reduce prejudice, and create inclusive spaces within educational and community settings (e.g., LGBTQ-inclusive classrooms). Her LGBTQ research includes studies of campus action to add ‘gender identity and expression’ to nondiscrimination statements, ally behavior during social encounters with anti-gay and anti-trans comments, interventions for reduction of prejudice against sexual minorities and transgender individuals, and strategies for training allies to gender creative youth (e.g., educators and counselors). Her edited book, Deconstructing Privilege: Teaching and Learning as Allies in the Classroom (2013), focuses on pedagogical strategies for teaching about privilege through an intersectional lens. Her second book, Intersectional Pedagogy: Complicating Identity and Social Justice (2016), emphasizes intersectionality pedagogy across the curriculum. Both the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI APA Division 9) and the Social Psychology Network awarded Dr. Case with national teaching awards. In recognition of her teaching, Dr. Case was also awarded the University of Houston-Clear Lake Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award, the Alumni Association's Outstanding Professor Award, and the Minnie Stevens Piper Teaching Award. Her professional service includes several leadership positions within SPSSI, the Society for the Psychology of Women, and the Society for the Teaching of Psychology. She also founded and chaired (2009-2012) the Houston chapter of the national Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
Dr. Kevin Leo Yabut Nadal is an award-winning scholar/activist who received his doctorate in counseling psychology from Columbia University in New York City. Currently, he is the Executive Director of CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies at the Graduate Center (GC) at the City University of New York (CUNY), as well as an Associate Professor of psychology at both John Jay College of Criminal Justice and GC-CUNY. He is one of the leading researchers in understanding the impacts of microaggressions, or subtle forms of discrimination, on the mental and physical health of people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people; and other marginalized groups. Dr. Nadal has published over 90 works on multicultural issues in the fields of psychology and education and is the author of five books including Filipino American Psychology: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice (2011, John Wiley and Sons), Filipino American Psychology: A Collection of Personal Narratives (2010, Author House), Women and Mental Disorders (2011, Praeger), That's So Gay: Microaggressions and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community (2013, APA Books), and Filipinos in New York City (2015, Arcadia). He is the President of the Asian American Psychological Association, a National Trustee of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS), and a co-founder of the LGBTQ Scholars of Color Network. He has received the Early Career Award for Contributions to Excellence by the Asian American Psychological Association, the Emerging Professional Award for Research from the American Psychological Association Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race, and the Early Career Award for Research from the American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program. Finally, he is the host of Out Talk with Dr. Kevin Nadal—a talk show focusing on social justice issues in the U.S.