Fostering research collaborations in LGBT psychology: An introduction to the special issue

Curtin, N.; Hegarty, P. J. and Stewart, A. J. (2012). Fostering research collaborations in LGBT psychology: An introduction to the special issue. Psychology and Sexuality, 3(3) 187 - 194.



We introduce the special issue by providing an overview of the 2008 and 2010 International Summer Institutes in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) psychology at the University of Michigan. Using the literature on stigmatization of LGBT peoples, minority stress, and the demonstrated under-representation of LGBT issues (including heterosexism) in psychology, we argue that the Institutes served a necessary and timely – if not overdue – intervention to establish an ‘invisible college’ that allowed emerging scholars to connect with eminent senior scholars. This was the starting point for systematic and sustained collaborations among the scholars in attendance, and some of the fruits of those collaborations are included in this issue. Post-institute participant surveys from both sessions revealed that the Institutes not only facilitated the formation of an ‘invisible college’, but that participants also reported individual shifts in perspective associated with an increased commitment to social change: the development of new networks, critical perspectives on the inclusion of LGBT people/and issues, shifts in identity, and new possibilities for reaching (and changing) other people through research and teaching. We discuss these findings and their implications for the future directions of LGBT Psychology.

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