Headcase: LGBTQ Writers and Artists on Mental Health and Wellness (Oxford University Press)
Headcase is a groundbreaking collection of personal reflections and artistic representations illustrating the intersection of mental wellness, illness, and LGBTQ identity, as well as the lasting impact of historical views equating queer and trans identity with mental illness.
The pieces in the anthology offer personal views from both providers and clients, often one and the same, about their experiences. In the anthology, readers will access the inner thoughts of an array of individuals, including a therapist with dual status who also happens to be transgender and practicing in the Midwest; a lesbian writer and psychotherapist recounting her mother's experience with forced institutionalization, shock therapy, and "conversion therapy" in the 1950s; a queer illustrator presenting unique glyph illustrations that represent a panoply of identity-related questions and answers; an award-winning gay male writer discussing his struggle with depression publicly for the first time; and a trans activist of color writing about surviving madness in the inner city and how his community of mental health and social justice youth activists help each other thrive. Several contributors also document the difficulty of navigating flawed health care systems that limit affordable access to genuinely affirming, effective services.
Praise for Headcase
“Few books can make the claim of being unique, but this is one of them ...the editors intend to start a conversation among LGBTQ people and the therapy community about topics that are usually hidden or ignored. In this goal, they succeed admirably...This terrific and essential work will benefit all readers.” — Library Journal, starred review
“This book will fill an important gap in the LGBTQ literature and in the literature of mental illness by showing how liberation and destigmatization intersect and giving strength to those who work at the locus of these two fields of study.” —Andrew Solomon, PhD, arts, mental health, and LGBT activist; author, The Noonday Demon; Professor of Clinical Psychology, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
“Headcase is a fantastic collection of brave and poignant personal stories about the intersection between mental health treatment and LGBTQ identity. The writers’ stories reveal the often sad and frustrating (even dangerous) reality of coping with mental illness in a nation where competent,inclusive psychiatric care is frequently prohibitively expensive or flat out unavailable. They also show the resilience, creativity, and intelligence of this eclectic group of contributors who utilize all their personal and community resources to achieve and maintain wellness and positive self-identity.” —Alice Boyes, PhD, author, The Anxiety Toolkit and The Healthy Mind Toolkit
Editors Stephanie Schroeder and Teresa Theophano will be joined by contributors Thomas Mondragon and Bill Konigsberg.
Teresa Theophano, LMSW, is a New York State-licensed social worker and freelance writer/editor who co-founded the New York City Queer Mental Health Initiative (QMHI), an LGBTQ mental health peer support network in collaboration with the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, in July 2014. Since graduating from Hunter College School of Social Work with an MSW the same year that her book Queer Quotes (2004) was published, she has worked and volunteered with LGBTQ communities at numerous organizations including Rainbow Heights Club, the New York City LGBT Community Center, and Queers for Economic Justice. Teresa has been involved in social justice movements for more than two decades and is interested in further exploring radical and holistic approaches to mental health. She currently serves on the board of directors of a queer homeless youth program, Trinity Place Shelter. Her writing has appeared on websites such as xojane.com and glbtq.com and in anthologies including The Queer Encyclopedia of the Visual Arts (2004) and Queerly Loving (2017).
Stephanie Schroeder is a freelance writer based in New York City. Her work has been anthologized in the classic queer anthology That’s Revolting: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation, as well as Up All Night: Adventures in Lesbian Sex, Hot & Bothered: Short, Short Fiction on Lesbian Desire, volumes 3 & 4, Here Come the Brides: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage, and Easy to Love, But Hard to Live With: Real People, Invisible Disabilities, True Stories. Stephanie also works as a peer specialist. She is the author of the memoir Beautiful Wreck: Sex, Lies & Suicide (2012). (Author photo by Maeghan Donohue)
Thomas Mondragon, LMFT, has a private practice in West Hollywood, CA focused on the principles of gay-centered and affirmative psychotherapy. He has extensive clinical experience in dual diagnosis substance abuse treatment and is a founding instructor in Antioch University Los Angeles’ LGBT Specialization, the first program of its kind devoted to academic and clinical instruction in LGBTQ affirmative theory and practice necessary for effective therapeutic work and psychological healing with LGBTQ clients. He was instrumental in creating two training sites for LGBT Specialization students to gain clinical experience—one serving the LGBTQ HIV-impacted community, and the other, Colors LGBTQ Youth Counseling Center, serving a diverse spectrum of LGBTQ youth in Los Angeles. As Affiliate Faculty in Antioch’s Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology program, Thomas has taught classes including LGBT Affirmative Psychotherapy, Intercultural Transpersonal and Depth Psychology and Gay Male Identity: Sex, Love, Intimacy & Other Community Issues.
Bill Konigsberg is the award-winning author of four young adult novels. The Porcupine of Truth won the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the Stonewall Book Award in 2016. Openly Straight won the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor, and was a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award and the Lambda Literary Award in 2014. Bill’s debut novel, Out of the Pocket, won the Lambda Literary Award in 2009 and his most recent novel, Honestly Ben, received three starred reviews, from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and School Library Journal. He lives in Chandler, Arizona, with his husband, Chuck, and their Australian Labradoodles, Mabel and Buford.