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Petition to Establish a Division on LGBTQ Issues within AAPA

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Petition to establish a Division on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Issues within the Asian American Psychological Association In accordance with Article XIV of the By-Laws of the Asian American Psychological Association, we are submitting a petition for consideration and support by the membership of AAPA to establish a division within AAPA that provides awareness of and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) issues in psychology. This division would be called the Division on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Issues. A growing body of scholarship has documented the psychological disparities experienced by LGBTQ Asian Americans. While there is limited research that has focused on LGBTQ Asian Americans in general (Chan, 1993; Chung & Singh, 2008; Nadal, 2010), there are a few studies that describe how the experiences of LGBTQ Asian Americans differ from their heterosexual/ cisgender Asian Americans or LGBTQ people of other racial backgrounds. First, because of the lack of acceptance of LGBTQ people and identities in Asian American ethnic and religious communities, it is common for LGBTQ Asian Americans to have difficulties in developing healthy dual identities, which in turn may negatively influence their psychological health (Chan, 1993; Chung & Singh, 2008). Further, as members of both groups, Asian American LGBTQ people may be the targets of discrimination in both of their communities; for example, they may encounter heterosexism and transphobia in their racial or ethnic community, while also experiencing racism in the LGBTQ community (Chan, 1989; Chung & Singh, 2008; Han, 2009; Nadal & Corpus, 2012; Nakamura, Chan, & Fischer, 2013; Operario, Han, & Choi, 2008). Moreover, the intricacies of being LGBTQ and Asian American may also lead to problems with interpersonal relationships, sexual and romantic relationships, and familial relationships (Chung & Singh, 2008; Nadal, 2010; Nakamura, Flojo, & Dittrich, 2009). As a result, LGBTQ Asian Americans may struggle with an array of psychological concerns, including suicidal ideation (Cochran Mays, Alegria, Ortega, & Takeuchi, 2007); psychological distress (Choi, Paul, Ayala, Boylan, & Gregorich, 2013; Szymanski & Sung, 2010); risky sexual behaviors (Do, Chen, McFarland, Secura, Behel, MacKellar, et al., 2005; Lee & Hahm, 2012); and substance abuse problems (Operario & Nemoto, 2005). The need for such a division is also based on members’ desires to increase LGBTQ visibility and advocacy. In the summer of 2013, a Task Force on LGBTQ Issues was created to discuss various ways that AAPA can serve its LGBTQ members. Task Force members reported concerns that LGBTQ issues were not addressed directly in AAPA and described the need for more LGBTQ leadership and prominence within the organization. The Task Force unanimously voted that creating a Division on LGBTQ Issues was the next logical organizational step to address these needs. Given the need for a formal organization, the creation of a division will enable this emerging community of practitioners, scholars and educators: • To unite and recruit LGBTQ Asian American psychologists and mental health practitioners • To provide resources and support for the LGBTQ Asian American community in psychology • To advocate for research, competent practice and culturally informed policies in working with LGBTQ Asian Americans Because we believe it is important that this group remain connected and affiliated with AAPA, we believe that it is appropriate to form a division within the organization. In doing so, we can also create collaborations within the organization and with the greater Asian American community, while also maintaining a focus on the psychological issues and concerns specific to the LGBTQ community. In addition, we believe that AAPA can provide the networks, support, resources and institutional visibility that are critical to our organization. The benefits of a Division on LGBTQ Issues within AAPA include the following: • To provide an organization for AAPA members interested in LGBTQ psychology and mental health issues. • To increase LGBTQ membership within AAPA and the field of psychology • To advocate for the increase of LGBTQ Asian American psychologists and mental health practitioners. • To provide mentorship and support for LGBTQ Asian American students and early career psychologists. • To provide resources and support regarding best treatment practices and training for working with LGBTQ Asian Americans. • To facilitate the continued growth and emergence of theoretical and empirical literature on LGBTQ Asian Americans. • To advocate for culturally informed policies that influence the manner in which training, research and clinical services for LGBTQ Asian Americans are delivered and implemented. • To provide professional networking opportunities for members interested in LGBTQ Asian Americans. Please support us in establishing a Division on LGBTQ Issues within AAPA. We need your electronic signature at the following petition website by October 1, 2013. Thank you so much for your support! Sincerely, AAPA Task Force on LGBTQ Issues: Kevin Nadal (Chair), Nicholas Alt, Catherine Bitney, Jennifer Chang, Sand Chang, EJR David, Satinder Gill, Brian Keum, Saeromi Kim, Aakash Kishore, Natacha Foo Kune, Mike Lau, Hsiao-Wen Lo. Nadine Nakamura, Shinobu Ogasawara, G. Nicole Rider, Anneliesse Singh

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