Dee Mosbacher, M.D., Ph.D., psychiatrist, filmmaker, and activist for women’s and gay rights, will receive the John E. Fryer Award from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) at their annual IPS meetings in October in San Francisco. The award is presented by the APA in association with the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists and given in honor of Dr. John Fryer, a gay psychiatrist who played a crucial role in prompting the American Psychiatric Association to review the scientific data and to remove homosexuality from the APA’s diagnostic list of mental disorders in 1973.
Dr. Mosbacher founded Woman Vision, a nonprofit aimed at promoting tolerance and equal treatment of all people, in 1993. Through Woman Vision, Mosbacher has produced nine documentary films dealing with women’s and LGBT rights. Straight from the Heart (1994), directed and produced by Mosbacher, portrays parents’ love and acceptance of their gay children, and was nominated for an Academy Award. All God’s Children (1996) deals with gays and lesbians in the black church, and the stigmatization of homosexuality in the African American community. No Secret Anymore (2006) chronicles the life and love affair between gay activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, and Training Rules (2009) explores the issue of homophobia in college sports.
In 2012, Woman Vision launched a project called The Last Closet, a web-based campaign and video project to end anti-gay bias in men’s professional sports.
Dee Mosbacher's 1985 documentary, Closets are Health Hazards: Gay and Lesbian Physicians Come Out, was remarkable at the time, as many fewer physicians were able to be open in their lives and work, and the general public did not associate the words “gay” and “physician.” She followed this up with the 1991 film Lesbian Physicians on Practice, Patients, and Power, largely filmed at a Women in Medicine conference.
Dee Mosbacher lives in San Francisco with her wife of many years, psychiatrist Nanette Gartrell.
Created by AGLP in 2006, The John E Fryer, MD Award honors an individual whose work has contributed to the mental health of sexual minorities. The award was endowed through a generous grant from the Gill Foundation, a bequest from the estate of psychiatrist Frank Rundle, and contributions from many AGLP members. Other past awardees include Barbara Gittings and Franklin Kameny; Past APA President Laurence Hartmann; Psychiatrist and Researcher Richard Pillard; San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome; LGBT activist Evan Wolfson; and Bishop Gene Robinson, and Caitlin Ryan.
A position paper on same sex attraction was passed by unanimous consent of the Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association on December 7, 2013. The position is decisive, far reaching, comprehensive, and likely will be used frequently in legal, political, and social venues to advocate for the mental health and well-being of gay and lesbian peoples. The position statement was initiated through the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists’ representation in the legislative Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association, which is the largest psychiatric association in the world. That effort is a mark of AGLP’s continuing advocacy for the LGB community and the APA’s continuing commitment to equality for lesbian and gay peoples.
Title: Position Statement on Issues Related to Homosexuality
APA Position: While recognizing that the scientific understanding is incomplete and often distorted because of societal stigma, the American Psychiatric Association holds the following positions regarding same-sex attraction and associated issues.
It is the American Psychiatric Association’s position that same-sex attraction, whether expressed in action, fantasy, or identity, implies no impairment per se in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities. The American Psychiatric Association believes that the causes of sexual orientation (whether homosexual or heterosexual) are not known at this time and likely are multifactorial including biological and behavioral roots which may vary between different individuals and may even vary over time. The American Psychiatric Association does not believe that same-sex orientation should or needs to be changed, and efforts to do so represent a significant risk of harm by subjecting individuals to forms of treatment which have not been scientifically validated and by undermining self-esteem when sexual orientation fails to change. No credible evidence exists that any mental health intervention can reliably and safely change sexual orientation; nor, from a mental health perspective does sexual orientation need to be changed.
The American Psychiatric Association opposes discrimination against individuals with same-sex attraction whether it be in education, employment, military service, immigration and naturalization status, housing, income, government services, retirement benefits, ability to inherit property, rights of survivorship, spousal rights, family status, and access to health services. The American Psychiatric Association recognizes that such discriminations, as well as societal, religious, and family stigma, may adversely affect the mental health of individuals with same-sex attraction necessitating intervention by mental health professionals, for which, the American Psychiatric Association supports the provision of adequate mental health resources to provide that intervention. The American Psychiatric Association supports same-sex marriage as being advantageous to the mental health of same-sex couples and supports legal recognition of the right for same-sex couples to marry, adopt and co-parent.
The American Psychiatric Foundation (APF) Board of Directors, acting on the recommendation of the APF Legacy Fund Committee, has approved a matching grant fund of $10,000 to develop the endowment of the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists’ John Fryer, M.D. Award. The APF Board recognizes the importance of sustaining Dr. Fryer’s legacy through this prestigious award, by honoring the contributions of LGBT leaders in the field of psychiatry.
The Fryer Award educates psychiatrists on a wide range of significant LGBT issues. Fryer lectures take place at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and are popular and well-attended. By publishing these lectures as papers in the Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, which has a wide circulation among psychiatrists and other mental health workers, the reach of these lectures is extended even further. Past honorees have included prominent advocates for the LGBT community, such as Barbara Gittings, Frank Kameny, Evan Wolfson, and Bishop Gene Robinson, as well as experts in psychiatry and the mental health field, including Lawrence Hartmann, Richard Pillard, Marjorie Hill, and Caitlin Ryan.
The award is named for John Fryer, M.D., the Philadelphia-area psychiatrist, who appeared with Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny as “Dr. H. Anonymous” at the 1972 APA Annual Meeting and helped move forward the process of removing the diagnosis of homosexuality from the DSM. John Fryer, MD was born in Kentucky in 1938. He attended medical school at Vanderbilt University and completed his psychiatry residency in Philadelphia and spent the rest of his career in Philadelphia. His early years as a psychiatrist were difficult because of his sexual identity. He was forced to leave the University of Pennsylvania’s Psychiatry Residency Program when it was discovered that he was gay, and later he completed his residency at Norristown State Hospital. Dr. Fryer was never apologetic about who he was or how he presented himself, and he went on to have a distinguished career as a professor of family and community psychiatry at Temple University.
The Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists (AGLP) has instituted a fund raising campaign, in association with the American Psychiatric Foundation, which will launch with this $10,000 matching grant, to help endow this award in perpetuity. For more information about how you can get involved, please contact Roy Harker, Executive Director of AGLP at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tax-deductable contributions can be made through this secure link.
The Journal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health (JGLMH) is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal indexed by PsychInfo. JGLMH is the official journal of the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists (AGLP, www.aglp.org).
We are seeking outstanding resident papers on LGBT mental health; these can be original research papers, case series and detailed case reports, or review articles. The award includes $500, publication in JGLMH, and assistance with travel to the AGLP annual meeting (held concurrently with the APA) in New York City in May to present the resident’s work. The deadline to be considered for a 2014 award is March 15, 2014. Co-authored papers are eligible as well, but the resident must be the first author.
Entries can be submitted to email@example.com.
PLEASE NOTE: AGLP Members receive free subscription to the Journal and unlimited access to the online edition.
Past, Present and Future
Mary E. Barber MD & Alan Schwartz MD
Minority Stress, Homonegativity, Alcohol Use and Mental Health Among College Gay Males
John Flood BA, Chris McLaughlin PhD & Garry Prentice PhD
Celebrating the “Other” Parent: Mental Health and Wellness of Expecting Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Non-Birth Parents
Kira A. Abelsohn MPH, Rachel Epstein MA & Lori E. Ross PD
An Overview of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues in Botswana
Morekwe Selemogwe PhD Candidate & Dale White PhD
2012 Fryer Award Lecture
What You See Is What You Get: 30 Years of the HIV Epidemic
Marjorie J. Hill PhD