• A formal statement of priorities and an agenda, adopted by participating divisions officially

  • A website

  • A webinar

  • A collaborative programming proposal for APA 2020 convention


Rapid change in the cultural context for LGBTQ populations over the past 10-15 years has led to new challenges for LGBTQ youth and young adults. Poor mental and physical health continue to be prevalent among sexual/gender minority youth relative to heterosexual peers. The project will bring together six divisions of APA (7, 9, 27, 37, 43, 44) to create a Statement of Priorities and an Agenda for Psychology of LGBTQ Youth and Emerging Adults that will result from a one-day, pre-convention conference. The effort will meet APA’s goal of promoting and expanding outward-facing efforts, and will include a focus on APA’s goal of expanding psychology’s role in advancing health.  The project will create a formal statement adopted by all six divisions, develop a website and a webinar to promote dissemination of the Statement of Priorities, support involvement and training of students in these efforts, and encourage collaboration across divisions and with other community and professional organizations.



To create an official statement of priorities and an agenda for the participating divisions, we plan to use:

A day-long pre-convention conference to create an informed list of priorities and agenda items (the workshop will also provide CE credit for psychologists attending)

The goals of the 2019 formal pre-convention meeting would include:

  • to set an agenda for research, advocacy, community and clinical work addressing the needs of LGBTQ youth and emerging adults

  • to foster collaboration and networking so that research, the development of interventions and programs, and implementation efforts, are community-based at every step of the process



A website to encourage feedback from attendees and other stakeholders, both inside and outside APA

A website, a webinar, and printed documents for disseminating the final statement of priorities and agenda

A collaborative programming proposal for APA 2020 for dissemination and discussion of the statement of priorities / agenda

A media outreach plan to publish articles about the statement of priorities and agenda in professional magazines, blogs, mainstream press, and other outreach efforts

The Pre-Convention Workshop will be held on Wednesday August 7, 2019. 

It will be held at the campus of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 325 North Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60654

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in hosting this pre-convention workshop.  We also acknowledge the significant support of the Committee on Division/APA Relations for this project.



$30 for students and community members

$70 for professionals and faculty


Registration opens on April 15, 2019




8:30 am - 9:00 am

Check-in and Registration

9:00 am - 9:15 am


9:15 am - 9:45 am

Samantha Tornello, Ph.D.

Keynote 1 (20 min presentation, 10 min question/discussion)

9:50 am - 10:20 am

Caitlin Ryan, Ph.D.

Keynote 2 (20 min presentation, 10 min question/discussion)

10:20 am - 10:35 am


10:40 am - 11:10 am

Christy Olezeski, Ph.D.

Keynote 3 (20 min presentation, 10 min question/discussion)

11:15 am - 11:45 pm

Susan Regas, Ph.D.

Keynote 4 (20 min presentation, 10 min question/discussion)

11:45 pm - 12:45 pm

Lunch and Networking/Mentoring

12:45 pm - 1:15 pm

Stacey Horn, Ph.D.

Keynote 5 (20 min presentation, 10 min question/discussion)

1:20 pm - 1:50 pm

Gary Harper, Ph.D.

Keynote 6 (20 min presentation, 10 min question/discussion)

1:50 pm - 2:05 pm


2:05 pm - 2:35 pm

Lee Vanderlinden, J.D. from the National Immigrant Justice Center – LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Initiative

(20 min presentation, 10 min question/discussion)

2:40 pm - 4:10 pm

Richard Sprott, Ph.D.

Agenda Creation / Priority Setting Activity

4:10 pm - 4:30 pm

Closing Remarks from each Division

4:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Networking - Table sign up for projects related to specific priorities

Susan Regas, Ph.D.

You Can’t Leave the Person-of-the-Therapist Outside the Therapy

No matter how skilled we are, our personal issues color our thinking and shape our behaviors with our LGBTQ youth and emerging adult clients, sometimes to their detriment. The more aware we are of how our own sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, homophobia, heterosexism and emotional maturity impact our treatment, the more able we are to resolve these issues so not let them impact the therapy in a counterproductive way. This makes our therapy more compassionate and effective.

Samantha Tornello, Ph.D.

Sexual and Gender Minority Emerging Adults

& Future Parenthood

Do sexual and gender minority (SGM) emerging adults want to become parents in the future? Why are some SGM people less likely to become parents? How are they forming their families? What are some of the unique challenges and strengths for SGM individuals when creating their families? We know that many SGM youth report that future parenthood is desired and likely (Chen et al., 2018; D’Augelli et al., 2007) but not all want to become parents. Consistently researchers have found that fewer SGM people desire and intend to become parents (Riskind & Patterson, 2010; Riskind & Tornello, 2017). In addition, we know that parenthood rates significantly vary across sexual orientation and gender identity. Of those who become parents, there have been generational shifts in when and how people form their families. Older generations of SGM people are more likely to become parents in the context of a former sexual or gender identity, prior to disclosure, and through sexual intercourse with a former partner. For SGM emerging adults, options for future parenthood have greatly increased, but a number of unique barriers and challenges still exist. In this talk, I will summarize what we know about the parenting desires and intentions, rates of parenthood, and the future of SGM people becoming parents. I will discuss the shortcomings and future directions of this area of work, along with exploring how to remove barriers and support SGM people becoming parents in the future.

Samantha Tornello, Ph.D.

Ann Atherton Early Career Professor in Health & Human Development

Assistant Professor of Human Development & Family Studies

Pennsylvania State University

Christy Olezeski, Ph.D.

Working with Transgender Youth and Young Adults: Health Disparities and Environmental Supports

Transgender and Gender Diverse (TGD) youth and young adults have reported very high rates of suicide attempts and other co-occurring mental health symptoms. Using the frame of the Gender Minority Stress and Resilience Model, we will look at factors that contribute to high co-occurring physical and mental health symptoms in TGD individuals. We will then look at the data on how individuals have been treated in public settings, such as schools, hospitals and places of employment. We will conclude by discussing how we might support TGD adolescents and young adults in a multitude of settings (home, school, medical offices) to build resilience and offer support to this very important and often mistreated population. 

Caitlin Ryan, Ph.D.

Critical Role of Family Support for LGBTQ Youth & Young Adults

Early ages of self-identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) and increased visibility of LGBTQ people makes the role of families and caregivers even more critical in supporting their LGBTQ children. Historically, families were seen as adversaries and little was known about how families learned to support their LGBTQ children so few services have been available across systems of care and in LGBTQ settings to help diverse families to decrease rejection and increase acceptance and support. Increasingly, research has shown the critical role of parents and caregivers in helping to reduce health risks and promote well-being for LGBTQ youth. Prioritizing research on families and caregivers, including intervention research, is essential to expand this field and to reduce the high levels of health disparities that LGBTQ young people experience. This session will discuss developments in helping diverse families learn to support their LGBTQ children, including the Family Acceptance Project’s family support model to help ethnically, racially and religiously diverse families learn to accept and support their LGBTQ children.

Gary Harper, Ph.D.

Building Resistance and Resilience Among Sexual and Gender Minority Adolescents and Emerging Adults

Sexual and gender minority (SGM) adolescents and young adults progress through developmental changes while also contending with stigma and discrimination related to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression.  Since youth possess various intersectional identities that may carry oppressed or privileged statuses depending on the societal context, some SGM adolescents and emerging adults may experience additional social stressors.  Despite these oppressive forces, many SGM adolescents and young adults are not only surviving, but thriving in the face of potential adversity.  This presentation will discuss various ways in which SGM adolescents and emerging adults demonstrate resistance to oppression and discrimination, and enact resilience processes that promote their physical and mental health.  Data from various studies focused on different groups of SGM adolescents who possess diverse social identities will be presented, including data from both the US and Kenya.  The presentation will end with recommendations for using participatory action research strategies to develop community-based interventions that promote the resistance and resilience of SGM adolescents and emerging adults.

Stacey Horn, Ph.D.

Sexual orientation and gender identity-based prejudice:  Developmental and Contextual Factors

Very little developmental research has focused on children and adolescents’ beliefs and attitudes regarding sexual orientation and gender identity/expression (SOGIE) despite the documented evidence of the frequency and negative developmental consequences of bullying and harassment related to SOGIE. Although limited research on perpetrators of these types of harassment is beginning to emerge, very little of this work is framed around the concept of SOGIE-based prejudice. In this talk I will provide a definition of SOGIE-based prejudice, outline a multidimensional approach to understanding this phenomenon, briefly review the developmental literature on SOGIE-based prejudice related to age, gender, intergroup contact, and social reasoning and provide recommendations for practice, policy and research moving forward. SOGIE-based prejudice involves attitudes about three distinct phenomena:  beliefs about homosexuality (e.g., acceptability of same-sex sexuality, how someone becomes gay or lesbian), attitudes about social interactions (e.g., exclusion, using anti-gay language, comfort interacting with a gay peer), and attitudes about rights (e.g., access, institutional discrimination).

Lee Vanderlinden, J.D.

Representing LGBTQ Asylum Seekers

NIJC's LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Initiative provides legal services to low-income immigrants who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) and those who are living with HIV.  Lee Vanderlinden will speak about their work representing LGBTQ asylum seekers. They will compare experiences of immigrants who apply affirmatively with the Asylum Office, those who apply defensively in Immigration Court, and those who apply defensively while detained by the Department of Homeland Security. They will reflect on how identity is “translated” to legal argument.