Gender and Sexual Diversity SIG (Formerly - LGBTQA SIG)

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Gender and Sexual Diversity SIG

(Formerly - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Allied (LGBTQA) Special Interest Group)

Affiliated 2013

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Contact Information

Melissa Farrell, PsyD
Great Lakes Psychology
Pronouns: she/her/hers

General Interest Area to be Specifically Addressed by SIG

This SIG will focus on the following areas but is not limited to, building a supportive environment for LGBTQ providers and researchers within ACBS; to better understand issues of sexual orientation, gender non-conformity, and sexual minority communities; applying contextual science to increase understanding contexts that foster heterocentrism, self-stigma, and shame; the development of training toward cultural competency among providers who work with LGBTQ individuals. The group will also work to cultivate and maintain a safe atmosphere for LGBTQA individuals to network, meet, and discuss their work at the annual conference of ACBS. A future goal would be to establish mentoring relationships between senior and early career LGBTQ providers and researchers.

Mission Statement

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning, and Allied (LGBTQA) SIG is oriented to better understanding the role of contextual behavioral sciences in understanding and responding to the unique experiences of sexual minorities, and the role that behavioral science can play in fostering acceptance, self-compassion, and well-being.

Sexual minorities are often exposed early in life to cisgender, heterocentric cultures that marginalize, shame, and criminalize same-sex intimacy and gender non-conformity. Successful therapy, advocacy, or researcher of sexual minority issues require specific cultural competencies to better understand the contexts in which LGBTQ individuals are living. These competencies are broad and requires considerable training and resources. The function of this special interest group is to help facilitate professional growth of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and their allies who are also member of ACBS. This SIG will focus on the professional development of its members as well as the use of CBS technologies in this area. Contextual behavioral science offers a unique, non-pathologizing lens to better examine the concerns and barriers for LGBTQ individuals in living a full life in a valued direction.

In this group, both LGBTQA practitioners and researchers within ACBS will interact to mutually support cultural competency within the CBS community.

Description of SIG membership 

Membership in this group is oriented to LGBTQA providers and researchers who are ACBS members. This SIG welcomes members of all sexual and gender identities.

SIG Activities

A SIG meeting and evening outing occur each year at the World Conference. The SIG encourages panels, symposia, and workshops related to LGBTQA concerns; sponsors presentations; and promotes collaboration with other SIGs. Further, the SIG creates a space for socialization and connection within the community.