The Lesbian and Gay Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Association (LAGCAPA) is an organization dedicated to the mental health needs of youth related to sexual minority issues. LAGCAPA is an affiliate of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), with which it works closely on a number of scientific, educational, and advocacy activities.






Our Mission

To promote changes within the practice of psychiatry and society at large which maximize the health and development of lesbian and gay youth and their families, and families with gay or lesbian parents.
To promote the delivery of medical and psychosocial services to all children and adolescents without regard to sexual orientation or gender.
To eliminate within the psychiatric profession and society at large, exploitation and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender.
To foster education about the needs of lesbian and gay youth to physicians of all specialties, mental health professionals, and the scientific community.
To encourage scholarly research of biopsychosocial issues relevant to understanding and serving lesbian and gay persons, particularly youth and their families, and families with gay or lesbian parents.
To increase the recognition of the roles and contributions of lesbian and gay psychiatrists and other lesbian and gay professionals who serve the needs of youth.
To support and encourage attendance of medical students and trainees at scholarly and professional meetings, including the meetings of this corporation.
To engage in other activities related to promoting the welfare of lesbian and gay youth, and children of gay or lesbian parents.


Our Present

LAGCAPA plays an integral role in planning the scientific program for American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry's (AACAP) annual meeting. Issues that LAGCAPA members have presented to psychiatric colleagues include topics such as gay teen suicide, gays and lesbians as parents, and parenting gender-nonconforming children.

In addition, many of LAGCAPA's members serve on AACAP's Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues (formerly "Homosexual Issues") Committee (SOGIIC) where important policy matters are addressed. Recent issues have included the drafting of a sexual orientation nondiscrimination policy adopted by AACAP, AACAP position statements on sexual orientation and civil rights, the fitness of gays and lesbians as parents, "reparative" therapy for teens, and recommending AACAP positions on amicus curiae briefs submitted by civil rights organizations in several precedent-setting legal cases.


Our History

The existence of irrational anti-homosexual bias in psychiatric and other medical organizations has traditionally had a chilling effect on the ability of medical professionals to freely and objectively discuss the mental health needs of youth affected by sexual minority issues. In 1990, in an act of courage and integrity, a small group of child and adolescent psychiatrists interested in the problems and needs of such youth came together to form LAGCAPA. Since that time, the organization has grown to a nationwide membership. Because of LAGCAPA's existence, it has become easier for child and adolescent psychiatrists to discuss lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) child and adolescent mental health issues freely. As a direct result of LAGCAPA's advocacy, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) formed a Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues (formerly "Homosexual Issues") Committee (SOGIIC) which functions as an integral part of the Academy to address these issues within child and adolescent psychiatry. LAGCAPA members continue to work closely with this committee.

The progress made in overcoming anti-homosexual bias within the profession has been remarkable, in large part due to the efforts of LAGCAPA's founding members. While it has become easy in a short period of time to take this progress for granted, it is crucial that the field not become complacent. With the place they have won at the table in the discussion of child and adolescent mental-health issues, LAGCAPA members have much ongoing work to do to use their scientific knowledge base, placed in the context of important clinical insights, to continue to serve the needs of youth.