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Queer Heroes Northwest 2016:
Peggy Hanley-Hackenbrook, M.D.


Picture of Peg HackenbrookIn her teen years Peggy already knew that she wanted to be a doctor. In her second year of medical school, in 1966, she was taught that homosexuality was a grave and incurable mental health disorder. She wasn’t so sure.

She moved to Oregon in 1971 to become a resident of psychiatry at OHSU. She recalls the influence that feminist philosophy had on her, revealing the sexism and male dominated thinking in psychology and psychiatry.

Throughout the 70s Peggy became increasingly aware of her own sexuality, and when she learned that the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Caucus would be meeting at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, she knew that she had to become part of that movement. As she says, that “threw open the doors!”

She was instrumental in working with one of Portland’s earliest gay rights organizations, the Portland Town Council, to establish Phoenix Rising, a mental health agency supporting LGBT people. She provided often pro-bono services to people who struggled with stigma and discrimination, and people in gender transition.

During the 1980s, when LGBT Oregon was under attack by the anti-gay Oregon Citizens Alliance, Peggy worked with others to convince the Oregon Psychiatric Association to oppose ballot measures nine and 13 which would have restricted civil rights for LGBT people. She joined the People of Faith Against Bigotry collation. In the 80s and 90s she recalls meetings of the American Psychiatric Association that always included memorial services for those lost to AIDS.

She later worked with PFLAG, Gay & Gray at Friendly House, and QCenter. More recently her focus is her relationship with her wife who she married in January, 2016 at age 73!

We begin announcing a hero per day on June 1, and the heroes' posters are unveiled in a reception at Q Center on June 15, 2016, 5-7PM. The public is invited. A traveling version of the Heroes posters will be displayed by GLAPN and Q Center at Portland Pride.

 

 

 

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