Next Steps in LGBT: Continuing Awareness

“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” —Nathaniel Branden, American Psychologist

National Equality March 2009
Photo credit: Flicker—Kyle Rush

Thank you, readers, for joining us on our month-long LGBT blog take-over. Together we turned a critical eye on the human rights and rhetoric surrounding the LGBT community. Expanding past the common belief that equality is purely a social issue, our guest editors and articles showed relevance in business, education, psychology, bioethics and more. To facilitate the continuation of our thoughts and communal work, we’re setting free more scholarly articles and book chapters focused on awareness as a crucial engine in social change. Take a look at our page to see the latest in research across the social sciences and humanities in awareness.

The engine for social change is a moving target; one that if we’re not reading and engaging with, it can stall out. LGBT Pride Month garnered significant momentum in 2015 and we encourage you to share this page, the blog, your comments, and this content with peers. Keep talking, thinking, and demanding human rights and advocacy because if we learned anything from this month, it’s that LGBT rights affect all of us.

Highlights:

From our top-read blog post, Queering Philosophy—How can queer theory inform and transform the practice of Philosophy?

“The goal then has to be not to establish queer theory as a recognized subfield in philosophy, but to elaborate how the questions and methods of queer thought can more generally inform and transform the practice of philosophy and its standards for knowledge production.” —Annika Thiem, Hypatia

Read more

Business and LGBTQ, LGBTs in the Workplace

“The purpose of this special issue is to take LGBT scholarship to the next stage by gathering new knowledge and extending theory on LGBT individuals in the workplace.” —Canadian Journal of Administrative Science

Read more

The Coming Out Story—YouTube Beauty Guru, Ingrid Nilsen, Comes Out in Emotional Video

“Ingrid’s story is unique in that it had by 900,000 hits in eight hours.” —Kathryn Coble

Read more

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The End of Reparative Therapy

50 Great Myths of Human Sexuality
50 Great Myths of Human Sexuality

With the removal of homosexuality as a mental illness in the 1970’s came a change in how therapists treated gay, lesbian, and bisexual patients. Instead of attempting to change a patient’s sexual orientation, experts were told to help them understand it and learn to cope in what was still a very homophobic society.
When mental health professionals changed, however, religious organizations picked up the mantle and started ministries dedicated to “reparative” therapy. Their members—who were sometimes referred to as ex-gays—went through programs that varied from independent bible study to aversion therapy, which involved administering electric shocks every time a patient became aroused by gay pornography.
These groups were very vocal for a few decades and lent their support to efforts to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals; they argued against teaching about sexual orientation in schools, fought the formation of gay-straight alliances, opposed marriage equality, and worked to prevent LGBTQ individuals from adopting children.
Their arguments were all grounded in the idea that sexual orientation could change, that people didn’t have to be gay. Ex-gays were paraded around as success stories—such as in a 1998 ad that insisted men could “pray away the gay.”
And then the truth began to come out. Some leaders of this movement were caught having homosexual affairs, visiting gay bars, or meeting men online. Others stepped forward to admit they were wrong, that they are still gay, and that sexual orientation does not change. In 2013, Exodus International—one of the largest and at one point most powerful, ex-gay ministries—shut its doors.
Now, in the United States at least, it looks like the time of reparative therapy has passed. The courts have held up laws in two states banning the practice for minors. The White House came out against it. And two Democratic Senators recently introduced a resolution condemning it.
But probably the best sign that its days are numbered come in the apologies from those who once sang its praises. Like these words from Exodus’ last president Alan Chambers: “I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change….  I am sorry that there were times I didn’t stand up to people publicly “on my side” who called you names like sodomite—or worse.”

Martha Kempner, 2015.
Martha Kempner is co-author with Pepper Schwartz of 50 Great Myths of Human Sexuality published 2015 by Wiley

Understanding Human Sexuality in a Broad Context

Taken from the Introduction to The International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality, published May 2015, edited by Patricia Whelehan and Anne Bolin www.encyclopediaofhumansexuality.com

Whelehan - web_resSexuality as an academic, legal, medical, and social subject has become increasingly visible over the past thirty years as attested to by the dramatic increase in the number of courses, scholarly and applied peer-reviewed publications, and other resources on the topic. It has also been an ongoing source of anthropological study since the nineteenth century.

However, recent anthropological interest in sexuality has been heightened as a consequence of globalization, the AIDS pandemic, national and international concerns over issues such as sex education, same sex marriage, transgender issues, and sex work among others.

In response to these widespread concerns and an attendant critical need for understanding human sexuality in a broad context, Wiley-Blackwell has commissioned us to produce an inter-disciplinary three-volume encyclopedia titled The International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality (IEHS).  This print and electronic reference work will be an important resource for undergraduate and graduate universities, law schools, medical schools, and public libraries nationally and internationally.  Not only will this encyclopedia cover the essential content areas as do the other widely selling encyclopedias on human sexuality–including human physiology, life-course issues, contraception, and contemporary Euro-American sexuality and ethnic issues– but the Wiley-Blackwell IEHS will contextualize these topics within their socio-cultural milieu and integrate the cross-cultural and global records of other nationalities.

Given the contemporary cultural and academic concerns for cultural diversity in education, we believe that our encyclopedia has the potential to offer new and richer perspectives on human sexual behavior.  No other encyclopedia currently on the market incorporates cultural diversity as a central theme for both the Euro-American and cross-cultural material. In addition, the IEHS’ attention to evolutionary and primatological considerations are attractive to those disciplines that have a biological and evolutionary emphases such as ethology, evolutionary psychology, biology, ecology, medicine, nursing and health among others, providing a deeply historical and bio-cultural lens.

Find out more at www.encyclopediaofhumansexuality.com

Patricia Whelehan and Anne Bolin

Comment on our blog posts for a chance to win a free book

Blogging today is a dime a dozen, each with an arsenal of snappy, digestible, tips and tricks for everything from career advice to trimming off excess fat. In a world full of click-holes, we often find ourselves falling social media voyeurs; readers of content stopping just short of posting a comment. We’re all guilty at one point or another of this.

We’re about half-way through our month long LGBT takeover here on the blog and we’ve had a variety of guest bloggers write in and share with us their thoughts on the philosophy, ethics, and social situation surrounding the LGBT community but we’re missing something; input from our readers.

Comment on any blog post on LGBT studies from today until July 10th to be automatically entered for a chance to win a free paperback book! Winners will be contacted about their prize individually.

Here’s some of what we’re raffling off:

America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality at the Movies, 2nd Edition
America on Film: Rep.Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality at the Movies
 50 Great Myths of Human Sexuality
50 Great Myths of Human Sexuality
A Global History of Sexuality
A Global History of Sexuality
Sexuality in Greek and Roman Culture
Sexuality in Greek and Roman Culture