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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

RKTS Grant/Workshop Report by Peter Hegarty et al.

05.12.2019, by Tina Keil in grant report, meeting report

Workshop: "Building an LGBT European Social Psychology" at ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon, Portugal, June 21st-22nd, 2019

Participants of the RKTS Workshop: "Building an LGBT European Social Psychology"
Participants of the RKTS Workshop: "Building an LGBT European Social Psychology"

Peter Hegarty (University of Surrey, UK), with Mauro Bianchi (Universidade Lusófona / ISCTE-IUL, Portugal), Andrea Carnaghi (University of Trieste, Italy), and Carla Moleiro (ISCTE-IUL, Portugal).

The event Building an LGBT European Social Psychology was held at ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon, Portugal, 21st-22nd of June 2019 with generous funding from the European Association of Social Psychology’s Research Knowledge Transfer Scheme. The four of us proposed the event to EASP in response to three clear contexts:

  1. development of the EASP Diversity Report, which acknowledged its own limits around scoping LGBT inclusion;
  2. the long history of engaged and effective policy work derived from North American LGBT+ psychology; and
  3. the importance of LGBT rights and equality to the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency, Council of Europe and other pan-European bodies who might be informed by the research of EASP members.

Mauro and Carla acted as local organizers and Peter lead on organizing the application process. We invited Kai Jonas (Maastricht, Netherlands) and Melanie Steffens (Landau, Germany) to join us. Both helped us to plan and shape the event, but only Kai could join us in Lisbon for the event, as Melanie was indisposed at the last minute.

In total, twenty-eight social psychologists gathered for the two-day workshop. Some had just begun their PhD studies, others were senior Professors, and every career stage along the way was represented. This event may have appealed to psychologists at diverse career stages because of a lack of LGBT+ social psychological events in Europe in the past. To our knowledge, this was the first such event that EASP had sponsored in its birth in 1967! The delegates represented universities in Belgium, Northern and Southern Cyprus, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. However, nationalities were far more diverse. Participants were also of different genders and sexual orientations.

The organizers and teachers delivered keynote lectures and all other delegates delivered posters. In their keynote lectures, Mauro Bianchi oriented us to the literature on perception of same-sex parents, Andrea Carnaghi presented a social cognitive model of gender and sexual orientation intersectional thinking; Peter Hegarty drew lessons from the history of LGBT+ psychology in the USA for Europe, Kai Jonas framed the challenges international research collaborations in LGBT+ psychology, and Carla Moliero told us about – and engaged us in – multicultural education activities adapted for LGBT+ issues.

All other participants contributed posters which were displayed on both days of the event and provided opportunities for exposition, debate, and discussion. Links to images of the poster presenters are provided below.

Norman Anderssen Iniri Kadianaki Julian Rengers
Maria Laura Bettinsoli Sven Katchel Robin Rinn
Gustavo Aybar Daniela Leal Marco Salvati
Annalisa Casani Eric Manalastas Emma Sarter
Valeria De Cristofaro Sara Martinho Julia Scholtz
Zyra Evangelista Masi Noor Ziba Sertbay
Fabio Filosofi Sabine Preuss Jojanneke van der Toorn
Paulina Gorska Eduardo Reis

This RKTS event mixed social and academic aspects. Those who arrived early on the 20th met downtown, had a taste of local food and opportunity to meet new colleagues. We shared a sit down meal on the evening of the 21st, and the conference ended in the context of the party atmosphere of Lisbon Pride on June 22nd (which was well timed by the local organizers to coincide with the RKTS). Lisbon Pride also offered some of us a chance to interact with members of the international Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) – Portugal, whose work we had learned about, particularly in Carla Moleiro's keynote.

All delegates left Lisbon with an enhanced sense that ‘building a European LGBT social psychology’ was plausible and necessary now, but that we had much to do. Our call for participants in this RKTS event explicitly encouraged delegates from European countries where LGBT+ rights are less recognized and supported, using ILGA's definitions to ground our understandings of diverse legal contexts across Europe. We conclude that much more than this event is needed to engage, support or stimulate LGBT social psychology in many areas of Europe, and look forward to fanning its ripples through EASP, Europe and beyond in the years to come.

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