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Dr. Matt R. Salmon

“Queer, autistic psychiatrist, survived conversion therapy and grew up Mormon with a republican congressman dad. Author of a book about it.”


About Me

Dr. Matt R Salmon (any pronoun) is a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist and Manager of Psychiatry at Whitman Walker Health, a wonderful health center that “strives to ensure all persons can live healthily and love openly and to feel true equality and inclusion in all aspects of their lives.” At Whitman Walker, Matt specializes in working with LGBTQ+ adolescents and young adults who have experienced the pains of rejection from their communities of origin and of living in a society that marginalizes them. Matt practices equitable, identity affirming, and holistic care for those Matt serves.

After several years of practicing psychiatry and treating the mental health needs of the LGBTQ+ community in Washington, DC, Matt recognized that so much of their suffering is the result of bias in society and systems of government. Matt then decided to go back to school and earned a Master’s in Health and the Public Interest at Georgetown University, studying the impacts of bias on the health and well-being of individuals from minority groups and how to communicate that information. Matt completed the full-time master's program in 13 months while still working full-time at Whitman Walker.

Matt's passion for advancing equity and inclusion is derived from growing up queer and neurodiverse (autistic, ADHD, OCD) in a Mormon family, experiencing the pains of rejection from his faith, family, and community of origin for being queer, and from undergoing conversion "therapy" in his adolescence. Not only was Matt's dad a republican congressman for 10 years, Matt's mom was involved in anti-LGBTQ activism into Matt's early twenties but stopped when Matt came out as queer.

Through compassion, forgiveness, and love Matt helped his family understand the errors in their thinking and harmful political actions and they all now fully embrace LGBTQ identities. Matt hopes to help other families grow together rather than apart and calls for religious and societal reform in Matt's upcoming book Pride & Prejudice: Healing Division in the Modern Family. Realizing that hatred will not change hearts and minds, Matt's mission is to build common ground and move toward a society that works for all people, not just the majority.

Matt and his friend, Gene, co-host a podcast where they discuss topics that promote introspection, self-awareness, and growth called The MindfulMess with Gene & Matt.

Matt is grateful for the support of his family, friends, and pug, Chad de Bellum. Chad is snuggly, intrusive, and demands attention (unclear how he picked up these traits). Matt loves to travel but has a strong dislike for traditional tourism and would much rather be where the locals are, doing what the locals do, and getting to know them and other travelers. Matt also has 7 tattoos, each with deep symbolism and personal meaning, with a plan to get at least 1 more as a reward for finishing this book.

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Psychiatrist, Author: "Pride & Prejudice: Healing Division in the Modern Family"

Author reflects on growing up queer and autistic in a conservative household

Author Dr. Matt R. Salmon joins Morning Joe to discuss his new book 'Pride & Prejudice: Healing Division in the Modern Family', which in part is about Salmon growing up queer and autistic in a conservative Mormon household in Phoenix, Arizona.

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