Skip to main content

Islamophobia and Ethical Challenges for LGBT Mental Healthcare

  • 1178 Accesses


Just having a chapter on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in the context of a book on Islamophobia and psychiatry is surely controversial, complicated, and critical. It is controversial because venerated and reputable Muslim scholars argue that homosexual behavior is forbidden in Islam, thereby disqualifying those who do engage in it from still being considered Muslim. It is complicated because such people may still want to identify themselves as both Muslim and as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Those in this political and social grouping who are transgender in terms of gender identity are different in the sense of their Islamic acceptance and can be either homosexual and/or heterosexual in their sexual orientation. It is critical because the LGBT have been reported to have the highest rates of psychiatric problems and have been known to experience a triple stigma: the stigma of mental illness per se, the stigma that still exists toward LGBT people, and the stigma attached to Islam if an LGB individual is perceived to be Muslim. Adding to those challenges can be the experience of conflict between sexual orientation and religious tenets. Compassionate and clinically sound methods to overcome these obstacles are presented.


  • Homosexual
  • Homophobia
  • Lesbian
  • Gay
  • Bisexual
  • Transgender
  • Identity
  • Trauma
  • Cultural competence
  • Informed consent
  • Inclusion
  • Ethical
  • Religion

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-00512-2_23
  • Chapter length: 10 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
USD   119.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-00512-2
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD   159.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)


  1. Swidler A. Homosexuality and world religions. Valley Forge: Trinity Press International; 1993.

    Google Scholar 

  2. National Alliance on Mental Illness: LGBTQ. 2016. Retrieved from

  3. Meyer IH. Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations. Psychol Bull. 2003;129:674–97.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  4. Cochran DS, et al. Estimates of alcohol use and clinical treatment needs among homosexually active men and women in the U.S. population. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2000;68(6):1062–71.

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  5. Kertzner R. Perspectives on the psychiatric care of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Psychiatry Advisor. 2014 October 17.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Ciftci A, Jones N, Corrigan P. Mental health stigma in the Muslim community. J Muslim Ment Health. 2013;7(1):17–32.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Moffic HS, Adams G, editors. A special issue on the psychiatric care of “Minority” groups. Am J Soc Psychiatry. 1983;III(2):1–74.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Campbell H, Hinkle D, Sandlin P, Moffic HS. A sexual minority: homosexuality and mental health care. Am J Soc Psychiatry. 1983;3:26–35.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Drescher J. Out of DSM: depathologizing homosexuality. Behav Sci (Basel). 2015;5(4):565–75.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  10. Grzanka P, Zeiders K, Miles J. Beyond “Born This Way?”: reconsidering sexual orientation beliefs and attitudes. J Couns Psychol. 2015.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  11. Muelle S, De Cuypere G, T’Sjoen G. Transgender research in the 21st century: a selective critical review from a neurocognitive perspective. Am J Psychiatr. 2017. October 20 published online.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  12. Masterson P. Transgender awareness week. Shepherd Express. 2017. Nov. 16–22, 35. 10.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Terman RL. Trans(ition) in Iran. World Policy J. 2014;31(1):28–38.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  14. Safavifar F, et al. Religious experiences of Iranian transgenders: a qualitative study. Med J Islam Repub Iran. 2016;30:385.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  15. Green E. When doctors refuse to treat LGBT patients. The Atlantic. 2016 April 6.

    Google Scholar 

  16. American Psychiatric Association. The principles of medical ethics, with annotations especially applicable to psychiatry. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2013.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Levounis P, Drescher J, Barber M. The LGBT casebook. Washington, DC: The American Psychiatric Publishing; 2012.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Moffic HS. LGBT: tips for trans-inclusion in mental health. Psychiatric Times. 2012.

  19. Resnick B. Bigotry complicates everything: a psychologist on how prejudice harms Muslim patients’ mental health. Vox. Updated by 2017 March 8.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Moffic, H.S. (2019). Islamophobia and Ethical Challenges for LGBT Mental Healthcare. In: Moffic, H., Peteet, J., Hankir, A., Awaad, R. (eds) Islamophobia and Psychiatry. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-00511-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-00512-2

  • eBook Packages: MedicineMedicine (R0)