The American Psychiatric Association has appointed its first-ever openly gay CEO and medical director, Saul Levin. He’ll take over when current CEO James H. Scully Jr. retires this fall.
As The Advocate points out, this is kind of a big deal because the APA only removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders 40 years ago.
“I have known Saul for over 20 years,” Scully said in a prepared statement. “He brings extraordinary intelligence, vision and great energy to the challenges ahead for our profession. I look forward to working together with him as we transition to new leadership.”
Levin was also the first openly gay head of the Washington, D.C., Department of Health, where he has been interim director since last summer. “While this is a great loss for the District government, it is a great gain for the American Psychiatric Association,” Mayor Vincent Gray said. “Dr. Levin has done an exemplary job leading DOH in this interim period, and I wish him the best in his future endeavors and thank him for his good work for us.”
“Hey: let’s have room in our heart for people who are “behind” or stuck or struggling or messed up. Not everyone is paced at your tempo. Not everyone can just change at the drop of a hat. Please do not judge what doesn’t make sense in your eight lb. brain. It might be something you’d never struggle with, but this other human being DOES, and you don’t have to understand to love them. Just love them. Do not coerce a therapeutic ideology that rushes someone into an idealistic mirage. This will kill them. I get this wrong too, and I regret every moment I’ve dragged a friend into a forced epiphany. Be patient, be there, be engaged, and be at ground level.”