Dismantling a Diagnosis: Episode 1: A Kind of Madness

Making Gay History | LGBTQ Oral Histories from the Archive

Dec 15 2023 • 27 mins

In the 1950s, psychiatrists diagnosed all homosexuals with a mental illness, and the sickness label created new forms of oppression for gay people in America. The sickness label was pervasive and seemingly inescapable. Until 1973, according to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the DSM), homosexuality was a mental disorder. In this first episode of Making Gay History’s “Dismantling a Diagnosis” miniseries, you’ll hear testimony from Eric Marcus’s archive describing this dangerous diagnosis and how the label affected the lives of LGBTQ people in the 1940s, ’50s and '60s. We also explore the crucial role of psychiatric pseudoscience in propagating misinformation about homosexuality. And through first-hand accounts recorded decades ago, you’ll hear from gay men and lesbians who were subjected to therapies or treatments aimed at “curing” their homosexuality. In the words of activist Morris Kight, “Imagine trying to burn out of your brain your love.” Visit our episode webpage for additional resources and a transcript of the episode. For exclusive Making Gay History bonus content, join our Patreon community. ——— To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

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