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Queering Psychedelics

Queering Psychedelics

From Oppression to Liberation in Psychedelic Medicine

Various Authors
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As psychedelic-assisted therapy gains traction in popular culture and through policy reforms, Queering Psychedelics: From Oppression to Liberation in Psychedelic Medicine aims to foster accessibility and diversity in psychedelic science, practice, and discourse.


By addressing and dismantling sexist, heteronormative, transphobic, and homophobic forms of oppression in the psychedelic community, this collection lays groundwork for an inclusive future. Edited by researchers and authors Alexander B. Belser, PhD, Clancy Cavnar, PsyD, and, Beatriz C. Labate, PhD, Queering Psychedelics features a broad range of perspectives from queer academic researchers, LGBTQIA+ clinicians, and indigenous and transgender advocates.


Each of the 38 essays -- from some of the contemporary movement's most influential leaders including Terrence Ching, PhD, Kile Ortigo, PhD, and Diana Quinn, ND -- presents insights into cultural heritages and historical contexts, implications for research and clinical work, and discussions of the healing potential of psychedelic medicine.


Covering topics of consent, privilege, intersectionality and identity, Queering Psychedelics grapples with how modern psychedelic research might address the unique needs and traumas of sexual and gender minorities--populations that can suffer from challenging mental health conditions brought on by social exclusion, pathologization, criminalization, and stigmatization. This book delves into the dark history of psychedelic conversion therapy while illuminating promising research showing substances including MDMA and psilocybin can offer life-changing experiences for marginalized communities.


Queering Psychedelics integrates indigenous outlooks on psychedelics, gender roles, and identity while aligning them with those of other marginalized groups: women, people of color, the disabled, the impoverished. This book interrogates the continuing radical potential of queer psychedelia in today's era of assimilation, paving the way for an inclusive and intersectional world.


Alex Belser is a psychologist and psychedelic researcher in clinical trials at NYU and Yale University. He is also the co-co-founder of the psychedelic research group at NYU. He studied at Georgetown University, the University of Cambridge, Columbia University, NYU, and Yale University. He is the Chief Clinical Officer of Cybin, and served as Chief Clinical Officer at Adelia Therapeutics. Additionally, he is a member of Chacruna Institute's Women, Gender Diversity, and Sexual Minorities Working Group. He has investigated psilocybin and MDMA to treat depression, anxiety, substance use, OCD, PTSD, and end-of-life distress. He is co-author of EMBARK, a psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy model, and was a contributor to Psychedelic Justice: Toward a Diverse and Equitable Psychedelic Culture, (Synergetic Press, 2021).

Clancy Cavnar is a clinical psychologist, artist, and researcher based in San Francisco. She has a doctorate in clinical psychology from John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, CA and is Co-Founder and a member of the Board of Directors of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines. Additionally, she is a research associate of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP). She has a master of fine arts in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, a master's in counseling from San Francisco State University, and a certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). She is author and co-author of articles in several peer-reviewed journals and co-editor, with Beatriz C. Labate, of ten books, including Psychedelic Justice: Toward a Diverse and Equitable Psychedelic Culture (Synergetic Press, 2021).

Beatriz C. Labate is a queer Brazilian anthropologist based in San Francisco. She has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. Her research focuses on the study of plant medicines, drug policy, shamanism, ritual, religion, and social justice. She is the Executive Director of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines. Additionally, she serves as the Public Education and Culture Specialist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and Adjunct Faculty at the East-West Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). She is author, co-author, and co-editor of twenty-four books including Psychedelic Justice: Toward a Diverse and Equitable Psychedelic Culture (Synergetic Press, 2021), two special-edition journals, and several peer-reviewed articles.


  • Publisher: Synergetic Press (December 6, 2022)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1957869038
  • ISBN-13: 9781957869032
  • Item Weight: 1.19 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6 x 0.75 x 9 inches
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