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.