Frequently Asked Questions
What is GASP?
GASP (GLBT Alliance in Social and Personality) is a nonprofit organization affiliated with (but independent of) the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. GASP provides support and professional information to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) students and faculty in social and personality psychology and their hetorosexual allies. GASP is open to all, regardless of sexual orientation or research interest.
GASP is currently working with several organizations to improve the climate for LGBT students and faculty in our field. For example, GASP has received an APA Interdivisional Grant, with the sponsorship of Divisions 8 (SPSP, Society for Personality and Social Psychology), 9 (SPSSI -- Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues) and 44 (Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues) to support the GASP Measures Project . GASP also works with the Training and Diversity Committees of SPSP to support LGBT research and researchers.
Why does it exist?
There are two main reasons why we thought there was a need for such an organization. First, LGBT individuals continue to face considerable prejudice, stigmatization, and isolation, particularly in professional settings. We wanted to create a forum for LGBT social/personality psychologists and their heterosexual allies to provide one another with solidarity, social support, and practical/professional advice. Second, we wanted to provide a forum where researchers studying LGBT issues and teachers who wished to present current research on LGBT issues in their classes could obtain helpful information and resources.
What does GASP do?
That's largely up to you! We have some preliminary plans, but we hope interested participants will voice their own ideas about the needs that such a group can serve. One important function is social -- simply meeting other LGBT social psychologists and our heterosexual allies goes a long way toward reducing the sense of isolation that many LGBT academics face, and we hope to provide both face-to-face and online opportunities for such interactions. We also hope that the GASP website and listserve will serve as a clearinghouse for LGBT-related professional information. For example, students and faculty going on the job market or applying to graduate school might want to compare different universities and cities with regard to the overall climate for LGBT students and faculty.
We hope to develop an online list of social/personality psychologists around the country who are willing to provide this information. This list of gay-friendly contacts is just one of the resources that we imagine linking to the GASP website. We also seek information on recently published studies on LGBT issues, RFPs for LGBT-related social/personality research, etc. We hope that these efforts will lay the groundwork for multiple informal networks of GLBT and GLBT-supportive social/personality psychologists around the country. Some long-term "dreams" include travel scholarships for researchers presenting GLBT research at future SPSP meetings.
If you've got your own "wish list" for such an organization, we'd love to hear it. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Who is included?
Everyone who wants to be. Although GASP focuses on LGBT issues, the involvement and participation of supportive heterosexual allies is crucial, and so we welcome everybody's support and involvement, regardless of sexual orientation or research interests.
How do I get involved?
There are 4 ways to become involved in GASP activities:
- Join the GASP listserv
- Send suggestions for GASP activities and for resources for LGBT-related research, teaching, and professional issues to add to the GASP website to Lisa Aspinwall and Lisa Diamond at email@example.com .
- Attend our annual meeting at SPSP.
- Consider a donation to GASP.
Your support could fund graduate student research on LGBT issues, travel to conferences, and other important means of increasing visibility for LGBT research and researchers. For more information, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
If I get involved, can I keep that confidential?
Absolutely. The extent and openness of your participation is entirely up to you.
Who are these people?
GASP was founded in November 2001 by Lisa Aspinwall and Lisa Diamond, Department of Psychology, University of Utah, 380 South 1530 East, Room 502, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0251. You may reach us at email@example.com .