APA and the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists (AGLP) will jointly present the John Fryer Award on May 14 to Episcopal
Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire at the APA annual meeting in Honolulu. Robinson is the first openly gay, noncelibate
priest to be ordained a bishop in a major Christian denomination.
Bishop Gene Robinson
Robinson has been a pioneering advocate of full civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, both within
the Christian church and society at large.
Co-author of three AIDS curricula for young people and adults, Robinson has done AIDS-related work in the United States and
Africa. His book In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God was published in 2008.
Robinson's election and consecration as an Episcopal bishop has stirred substantial controversy within the worldwide Anglican
Communion with which the Episcopal Church is affiliated. Some theologically conservative parishes in the United States have
aligned themselves with conservative African churches to register their opposition to Robinson's election as bishop. But retired
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu (who will be the Convocation speaker at the APA annual meeting; see Nobel Peace Prize Winner to Speak at Convocation) said after Robinson's election that he did not see what "all the fuss" was about, stating that Robinson's election would
not upset the Anglican Church in southern Africa.
Robinson and his former wife have two children. Robinson came out as a gay man in the 1980s; in 2008 he was legally joined
with Mark Andrew, with whom he had been living for 20 years, both by a civil union and a religious ceremony.
In 2009, Robinson was selected to deliver the invocation at the kickoff event of President Obama's inaugural weekend.
The John Fryer, M.D., Award is cosponsored by APA and AGLP. It is named after the gay psychiatrist who appeared at APA's 1972
annual meeting in Dallas wearing a wig and a mask to shield his identity. The public appearance of a gay psychiatrist explaining
at an APA meeting why he could not be open within his profession helped to galvanize a group of largely closeted gay psychiatrists
within APA at a time when homosexuality was still widely viewed as pathological by psychiatrists and others. The following
year homosexuality was removed as a psychiatric diagnosis from DSM.
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