Mental health providers: LGBT rights are civil rights
Marietta Daily Journal - 3/9/2017
We are a group of mental health providers who include amongst our clients members of the LGBT community. The issues that have arisen relating to the transgender community recently have alarmed us greatly.
Members of this community have historically suffered significant victimization through verbal and physical aggression. We see the results of this in our offices every day in the form of depression, anxiety, self-harm, eating disorders, alcohol abuse and drug addiction.
We have known loving families who are raising children who, from their earliest awareness, identified themselves as feeling like they were born into the wrong gendered body. Families struggle the best they can to cope with this, trying to help their children embrace who they are while sending them out into a world that confronts them with hateful messages on a daily basis.
Transgender members of our society have to confront a great deal of societal prejudice in order to get to the point that they can ultimately accept themselves. The guidance provided by the Obama administration, which supported folks using the school bathroom that coincided with their gender identity, was a strong step in the right direction. For many of our clients, walking into a bathroom that coincided with their birth-sex would be dangerous to them.
As transgender actress Laverne Cox so eloquently stated, "These bills are not about bathrooms. They are about whether trans people are allowed to exist in public space." LGBT rights are civil rights. These should not be decided by individual states. Citizens should be allowed to depend on their civil rights being in place wherever they travel in our country. With hope for a brighter and more accepting future,
Steven Perlow, Ph.D; Gerald Drose, Ph.D.; Dina Zeckhausen, Ph.D.; Susan Berel, Ph.D.; Elaine Eassa, Ph.D.; Kelly Harvey, LPC; Keith Helmken, LCSW; Jeffrey Helms, Ph.D.; Katherine Higgins, Ph.D.; Lindsay Kleiman, Psy.D.; Purvita Patel, Psy.D.; Brita Reed, MD, Psy.D.; Carla Santiago, Psy.D.; Rachel Scheinfield, Ph.D.; Jennifer Scholz-Smith, Psy.D.; Jennifer Spring, Ph.D.; Connie Stapleton, Ph.D.; Tamara Onley; Kayla Reeves;,Yasmin Heileger; and Steven Perlow, Ph.D.