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Highlights of the 2013 CESCaL Conference by Alix Sabin

Gay Sexuality: Biology as a Destiny
A presentation by Ron Holt, DO at the 2013 CESCal conference  By Alix Sabin, TPMG
Kaiser Permanente Ideabook  (Reposted with permission of A. Sabin)
Ron Holt, DO, a clinical psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente’s South San Francisco Medical Center, presented a workshop at the 4th annual national educator conference. The conference, hosted by San Diego State University’s Center for Excellence in School Counseling and Leadership (CESCaL), held Feb. 15 – 17 in San Diego, focused on LGBTQIA youth. The conference was attended by more than 600 K-12 educators, administrators, counselors, LGBT educational leaders and interested community members.
LGBTQIA stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex And Ally.
The conference has become increasingly important over the years because when students don’t feel safe, they are less likely to learn, more likely to give up on school altogether, and, in worst case scenarios, even take their own lives. According to recent data, 8 out of 10 LGBT youth are harassed at school, have a dropout rate nearly 3 times the national average and are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide compared to their straight peers. As the only national educator conference that focuses on LGBTQIA youth, it has been endorsed by the National Education Association and recognized by President Obama.
Dr. Ron Holt's workshop helped conferees compare and contrast the definitions of sexual orientation and sexual behavior; describe the spectrum of sexuality in the general population; identify that sexual orientation is not a choice; describe how genetics plays a role in male homosexuality; list the current biological theorieson causation of male homosexuality; and identify neuroanatomical differences between homosexual and heterosexual men.
Another interesting presenter was Betty DeGeneres, Ellen’s mother. She accepted an award for Excellence in Advocacy for Safe, Welcoming & Inclusive Schools for the recent public service announcement she filmed for PFLAG. “I enjoyed my career as a speech therapist but I think I would have loved being a school counselor,” DeGeneres said to rousing applause. “Although even with all the training I would have gotten fired, because I would have wanted to call those bullies the little jacka**es they are.”
Dr. Holt has been a staff psychiatrist at KP since 1997. The focus of his work is in diagnostic assessment and psychotropic medication treatment. He also provides consultation to other medical providers in the hospital around coordinated care of members with coexisting medical and psychiatric needs. In addition, he is passionate about ending bullying and suicide, enhancing the knowledge of medical providers regarding LGBT healthcare and educating the public about the consequences of homophobia.

About the author
Ron Holt (Dr. Ron Holt)
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