May-June 2013: Waves of Courage Conference Report

In this issue:

MPIPP Waves of Courage Conference Report

One of the first things you notice about Dr. Glenda Russell is not only her passion for LGBT research but also her keen skills as an engaging speaker. Both of those were in full force on Saturday, May 4, at MPIPP’s “Waves of Courage” conference at Affirmations in Ferndale.

Dr. Russell spent the morning discussing the finer points of what makes for reliable research, how anti-LGBT politics can permeate a culture and leave a lasting impression on those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender and the subsequent stress that is provoked. For example, in anti-LGBT campaigns, LGBT people can encounter head-on the homophobia in ways that leave them shocked and sad as well as with a fear that can lead them to the closet. She also discussed the intricacies of internalized homophobia. Then she moved toward the positives that her political campaign research also identified, including resilience enabled by taking a “movement” perspective and expanded political engagement.

Participants broke up into groups (i.e., Educators, Allies, Faith-based, Mental Health Professionals, People of Color, Queer Feminists) to discuss ways they could put Glenda’s information into action in their respective roles.

In the afternoon, Glenda reported on her research on allies. She found two basic types of allies: (1) those whose principles, such as a strong principle of equality, are the fundamental reason for their support, and (2) those who support LGBT people based on their roles or their relationships. She said there are personal stresses associated with being an ally, including interpersonal stress as well as stresses in interactions with LGBT people. Most importantly, she said, is that allies can become strong and visible allies if they are asked and if they hae 1-2 LGBT people who they can talk with about anything. She also said that LGBT people should meet allies “where they are.” In other words, don’t expect them to be where you are. She offered a list of tips garnered from allies during her research that included being willing to learn and to teach, celebrate successes, ask for help when you need it, focus on what you can do – not on those who disagree with you. For more information available on LGBT research available from Glenda, see

Dr. Clinton Anderson, Director of the American Psychological Association’s Office of LGBT Concerns, discussed the importance of intergroup contact in reducing prejudice. Clinton covered the research and then discussed practical applications, including conditions that facilitate a greater reduction in prejudice among the majority group members. An excellent synopsis of his comments, written by Crystal Proxmire, appeared in PrideSource / Between the Lines, can be found here:

To access much of the information available from the American Psychological Association’s Office of LGBT Concerns, go to:

The conference ended, literally, on a high note: as Glenda cited the enormous progress that has been made in equality in the last few years, attendees were led in an enthusiastic drumming circle.

As with any successful conference, there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. Our reward: 100% of those who completed evaluations said they would recommend the conference.


MPIPP and Affirmations form a new partnership

MPIPP has formed a new strategic partnership with Affirmations, located in Ferndale. According to Dr. Judith Kovach, project director for MPIPP, “We see this strategic partnership as a way to strengthen our relationships and outreach to the larger LGBT community and their allies in Michigan. Through this partnership, we are able to harness the energy and creativity of a larger organization, such as Affirmations, while contributing to their mental health programming and advocacy efforts.”

“We’re very pleased about this new partnership and excited about the opportunities that come with it”, said Dave Garcia, Executive Director of Affirmations. “It not only strengthens our mental health expertise but it also provides added validity to our expanding mental health services”.

MPIPP and Affirmations are already collaborating on LGBT clinical workshops for mental health professionals, the KNOW US PROJECT(KUP) trainings, and an Affirmations LGBT ally campaign. You can read more about the partnership at:

New Fact Sheets available from MPIPP

MPIPP has released two new fact sheets:

The marriage and mental health fact sheet may be useful for op-eds and letters to the editor or other discussions when the US Supreme Court hands down its opinion, expected sometime in June.

The transgender housing and workplace discrimination fact sheet contains some of the most salient research today and cites the most recent transgender survey. If you are interested in research and data on LGBT employment issues, you may also want to read this latest report, available from the Movement Advancement Project: A Broken Bargain: Discrimination, Fewer Benefits and More Taxes.

As always, MPIPP’s Fact Sheets cite the source research for the data. The research that we cite is most often representative of a larger body of research and generally has been peer-reviewed prior to publication.

Impact of Affordable Care on LGBT Individuals

The Affordable Care Act (also sometimes referred to as “Obamacare”) will give LGBT persons more control over their health, including better access to stable, affordable health insurance and provides for significant changes in existing coverage. For more information about the impact of this federal legislation on LGBT people, please see:


Check out this resource! Tools for planning improved supports for LGBTQI2-S young people and/or parents/caregivers

We’re always looking for information to pass along that may be of interest to you and the work that you do. The Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health offers information and resources for mental health professionals who serve the LGBTQ-2S communities. The Technical Assistance Partnership (TAP) is a program of the Center for Mental Health Services within the federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). You can also request to be added to their LISTSERV at the address on their website:


New PEW Research Report available

A new report, available from the respected PEW Research Center, shows that both those who support and those who oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage feel that it is inevitable. This report also shows varying attitudes across the world. To read the report, go to:


Upcoming webinar and trainings

This (non-comprehensive) list of upcoming webinars and trainings may be of interest to our readers:

June 15, 2013
LGBTQ Parenting – Facing Common Challenges
This training is designed for parents and foster parents of LGBT youth and identifies common challenges as well as how to parent in supportive and loving ways. Offered at the Judson Center in Redford. Trainers include licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Amorie Robinson, and Pamela Hilliard-Owens, the President of PFLAG Family Reunion, Detroit Chapter for People of Color. For more information or to register, please contact Beth McDonald at (313) 255-7259.
June 18, 2013
Cultural Competency and LGBT Health Disparities: Identifying Barriers and Tailoring Strategies (webinar)To register:
June 22
LGBT Older Adult SummitJay Kaplan, Staff Attorney for the ACLU LGBT Project, is the keynote speaker at this conference, to be held at the MSU Detroit Center. The event is free and is designed for LGBT community members, allies, and professionals. For more information, You can also register online and see the summit agenda at


Do you “like” research, reports, and data on LGBT issues?

Be sure to “like” the Michigan Project for Informed Public Policy on Facebook to stay on top of emerging research and other training opportunities.