I recently attended another meeting for organized medicine. I’m not a member of the American Psychiatric Association, so I don’t attend their meetings, but GLBT concerns are often discussed in other concerned organizations. The pediatric group (AAP) has some of the most progressive policy on homosexuality, including support for gay marriage as it has potential health care access consequences for gay families. The American Medical Association recently discussed this same issue.
Whenever I attend one of these meetings I get a great sense of angst. It’s not the topics themselves that bother me, or the dozens of variations on the theme—insurance coverage for sexual reassignment surgery, the acceptability of blood donations by gay men, etc.—it’s that I sense a subtext of one kind of discrimination replacing another. I feel marginalized as a religious person, rather than a gay one.
This American Life has played a story called 81 words about the change in the DSM. they’ve played it on several occasions over the last few years, and I highly recommend listening to it. It’s not short, but it’s very interesting and well worth the listen. But, despite that I love the story, and I agree with the outcome, I can’t help but note a few places in the narrative where those on the losing side of history are vilified for their beliefs and efforts. I believe they were well-intended. I really do. And I wonder if that’s the source of my angst in organized medicine.