U.S. psychoanalysts apologize for labeling homosexuality an illness
US psychoanalysts apologize for calling homosexuality a disease
The American Psychoanalytic Association apologized on Friday for treating homosexuality as a mental illness.
It may be the first American medical or mental health organization to make such an apology. Although psychiatrists banned homosexuality as a disorder in 1973 and psychologists joined them almost 20 years later, APsaA is unaware that a related professional group apologized.
“It is high time to recognize our role in the discrimination and trauma caused by our profession, to apologize for it and to say, ‘We are sorry'” Lee Jaffe, president of APsaA. The group distinguishes this acronym from the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
Jaffe told Reuters he would apologize Friday at the opening session of the group’s 109th annual meeting in San Diego. Jaffe said his group has been actively defending the rights of LGBTQ people for a long time, but he has not yet expressed his remorse.
“It’s hard to admit you were so wrong,” said Jaffe.
The new mentality of the medical community on homosexuality and the apology on Friday are the result of a landmark event in LGBTQ history, 50 years ago: the Stonewall uprising.
Guests at a New York gay bar called Stonewall Inn fought police harassment in the early hours of June 28, 1969, sparking off the modern lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer rights movement.
The New York police recently apologized for the raid and the discriminatory laws of the day, which prompted APsaA to apologize, said Dr. Jack Drescher, APsaA member and senior official history of psychiatric and psychological treatment of LGBTQ people.
New York will celebrate Stonewall’s 50th anniversary next week with nearly 4 million people and gay parades around the world on June 30th.
LGBTQ activists disrupted the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in San Francisco in 1970. Drescher said the protests had so severely tested the convention that by December 1973, the APA council had abolished the convention. homosexuality of the Manual on Diagnosis and Statistics of Mental Disorders (DSM).
However, APsaA only changed position in 1991 when it threatened to train gay and lesbian psychoanalysts under the threat of non-discrimination, Drescher said.
APsaA became one of the first supporters of gay marriage and an opponent of “conversion therapy”, which aimed to change a person’s sexual orientation.
In 2012, the psychiatrist apologized. Robert Spitzer alone wrote eleven years ago an influential study, which advocated a restorative therapy of the “treatment” of homosexuality.
Today, APsaA and other professional associations view homosexuality as a normal variant of human sexuality, but still have to express how wrong they were before, Drescher said.
“They apologized, but they did not say the words,” Drescher said. “If the New York Police Commissioner could do that, why can not we do something similar?”