Sexual and Gender

Minorities Special Interest Group

Mission: Advance the human right of safe and inclusive mental health practices for sexual and gender minorities during the perinatal period. Provide education on how researchers and clinicians can implement inclusive practices.

Vision: Queering perinatal mental health through education and outreach to professionals in research and clinical practice. By moving away from cis- and hetero-normative approaches to perinatal mental health care and research, we will elevate the care for all individuals.

The Sexual and Gender Minorities Special Interest Group advocates for the inclusion of sexual and gender minorities in the study and treatment of perinatal mental illness. Sexual and gender minorities (SGM) comprise a significant portion of parents today. In the US, an estimated 17% of births are to sexual minority women,1 and 2 to 3.7 million children have parents who identify as SGM.2 Many SGM choose not to disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity to perinatal care providers, often due to fears of stigma or discrimination.3 Because of the heteronormative standard of care offered in most perinatal health clinics, many SGM experience regular microaggressions when seeking perinatal healthcare.3

SGM experience discrimination and persecution world-wide. In the US, there is increasing difficulty accessing necessary healthcare. Furthermore, there are many countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia where SGM status is still criminalized.4 With these challenges, SGM are at higher risk of developing perinatal mental illness.5,6 As an international organization devoted to the treatment and research of perinatal mental health, it is vital that we are able to serve this vulnerable population with competence, respect, and understanding.

If you are interested in joining the SGM SIG, please click here to email the SIG Chair, Leiszle Lapping-Carr.


Leiszle Lapping-Carr, PhD
Clinical Psychologist
SIG Chair

Gretchen Anderton, LCSW, PhD
Clinical Social Worker

Bruno Pereira da Silva, PhD, MSc
Adjunct Professor of Mental Health Nursing


1 Everett, B.G., Kominiarek, M.A., Mollborn, S. et al. Sexual Orientation Disparities in Pregnancy and Infant Outcomes. Matern Child Health J 23, 72–81 (2019).
2 Gates, G. J. (2015). Marriage and Family: LGBT Individuals and Same-Sex Couples. The Future of Children, 25(2), 67–87.
3 Goldberg, A. E., Allen, K. R., Ellawala, T. and Ross, L. E. (2018). Male-Partnered bisexual women's perceptions of disclosing sexual orientation to family across the transition to parenthood: Intensifying heteronormativity or queering family?. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 44, 150– 164. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12242
4 “Map of Countries that Criminalise LGBT People.” Human Dignity Trust, June 17, 2022.
5 Flanders, C. E., Gibson, M. F., Goldberg, A. E., & Ross, L. E. (2016). Postpartum depression among visible and invisible sexual minority women: A pilot study. Archives of women's mental health, 19(2), 299-305.
6 Marsland, S., Treyvaud, K., & Pepping, C. A. (2022). Prevalence and risk factors associated with perinatal depression in sexual minority women. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 29(2), 611-621.