Working with Pride
As a pediatric psychologist at Johns Hopkins All Children’s, Callie King, Ph.D., sees patients and helps train hospital staff, medical providers and others on best practices when working with members of the LGBTQ+ community.
For Callie King, Ph.D., Pride is present every day even when it might not seem apparent.
A pediatric psychologist at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, King spends much of her time working with LGBTQ children and their families.
In celebration of Pride month, we wanted to learn more about King and her work at the hospital.
Tell us about your role at the hospital.
I'm a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in pediatric psychology. My work here at the hospital is mostly outpatient. I see kids up to age 21 and their families for a range of presenting concerns. I focus mostly on LGBTQ+ issues. I work with a lot of kids in the LGBTQ+ community. I also specialize in pediatric health conditions and chronic pain. I’m typically working in our outpatient psychology clinic, providing individual and family therapy services. I'm working on building more expansive behavioral health care services for kids, teens and their caregivers within the LGBTQ+ community.
What is a typical day like for you at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital?
A typical day for me usually consists of reading a lot of literature to stay up to date on everything going on with LGBTQ+ community, especially research that can enhance our behavioral health programming here. I see patients in the outpatient clinic for individual therapy most of the day. I also provide trainings with All Children's Hospital staff, medical providers, medical students/trainees, and also community trainings on best practices when working with members of the LGBTQ+ community.
What's something people might not know about you?
I was a competitive dancer most of my life. I competed in all different styles until I was 18. Most people don’t know that.
Can you describe your journey as a member of the LGBTQ+ community?
My journey really started in adulthood. I did not come out until I was 26, which is somewhat rare. I’m from rural Oklahoma. I just never had the awareness or the education or the resources to be able to figure out that this was my journey. I struggled a lot with building relationships when I was younger. I prioritized friendships a lot more. I was not really interested in romantic relationships. Then I went all through my schooling and was pursuing my doctorate when things became different for me. I fell in love with my best friend. I realized that there was something else going on here. In the last five years now, it has been a different kind of journey for me and figuring out what my identity really is, which I now identify as a lesbian.
I've been very privileged to have an incredibly supportive family. I was nervous about the climate that I came from in Oklahoma, but my parents are wonderful with my wife. They have committed themselves to learning and growing with me and alongside me.
What does Pride Month mean to you?
Pride, for me, is a time of reflection and gratitude for all of the people in our community that came before that fought for the rights I have today. The biggest thing is honoring and celebrating all of the progress we've made over the decades and the many people who made it happen. I’m able to be married now — I got married in December — to be able to have a future family and be accepted by the community. I know that that didn't just happen. Pride Month is really about looking back and also about looking forward. We have a lot of support, but there still is so much work to do.