PHOTO: The official OSU student newspaper's Editorial Board, "Editorial: Proud to be this far in the future," OSU Barometer, May 7, 2014, p. 7 said, "It's hump day of LGBTQ Pride Week here at Oregon State University. Pride Week is presented by Rainbow Continuum, and its tagline this year is 'Queer we go again.' If you don't now have Demi Lovato, Paramore, Kelly Rowland or OK Go singing in your head, you're either luckier than we are or too young to be in college." I must be too old to understand this musical reference. Also on the same editorial page was a reference to the 1973 APA decision to remove homosexuality from the official list of mental disorders in the excellent weekly column by the popular sex education instructor at Oregon State University: Dr. Kathy Greaves, "Dr. Sex answers questions related to homosexuality," OSU Barometer, May 7, 2014, p. 7-8. My letter in response was published as follows in the May 9th student newspaper:
A minor note of correction -- homosexuality was removed in 1973 from the official list of mental disorders by the American Psychiatric Association, and not the similarly named "American Psychological Association" as cited by Kathy Greaves in her, otherwise accurate, May 7 column, "Dr. Sex answers questions related to homosexuality," and several previous columns.
Mainstream psychiatrists, who are medical doctors with an M.D. degree, previously blamed domineering mothers and weak fathers for making their sons gay and believed homosexuality could be cured with Freudian psychoanalysis.
The "Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders" (a.k.a. DSM) was commendably created to improve academic medical research and treatments, but its listing of homosexuality was misused to deny government security clearances and exclude gay men from the military, except during the Vietnam War, when openly gay men were involuntarily drafted to serve in the military.
Today, the DSM diagnostic codes are also routinely used by medical insurance providers to decide what is covered, which is why so-called "gender identity disorders" were left in place so that hormone therapies and surgical treatments would be available to intersex and transgendered individuals who have treatable medical conditions that are often confused with sexual orientation.
Founder, OSU Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld Fund
(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letters to the Editor, Regarding Dr. Sex's My 7 column, Correcting an error," Barometer, May 9, 2014, p. 7)
Also enjoyed reading the Pride Week coverage, in the same issue, by Kaitlyn Kohlenberg, "Pride Week events invite all. Week ends with Queernival, slumber party in MU quad," OSU Barometer, May 9, 104, p. 1, 4. -- after reading this article, I recalled how it used to be that the Frat boys held the best parties on campus, but now I think they are facing some competition from queer students!
See my previous posts:
- Frank Kameny letter to gay marriage pioneer Jack Baker in 1973 (7/16/12) - Frank Kameny tells Jack Baker in a letter that he is about to go to the meeting of psychiatrists to ask that homosexuality be removed from the official list of mental disorders, which the APA agrees to do after hearing his story of discrimination by the U.S. Government
- 'Homosexuality not mental illness' psychiatrist Alfred Freedman dies (4/25/11) - book by Dr. Richard C. Friedman, M.D., "Male Homosexuality: A Contemporary Psychoanalytic Perspective," Yale University Press, 1990 discusses the history of the decision by psychiatrists to remove homosexuality from the official list of mental disorders and Freudian history, which is further described in a book by Peter Gay, Sigmund Freud, "The Freud reader," W. W. Norton & Company, 1995.
- DSM-5 gender identity disorder recommendations (2/20/10)
- Asking Santa for a Barbie doll was gay 50 years ago - A Christmas Story (12/21/10) - my personal experience with gender variant behavior and the vicious reaction of society to it
- OSU Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld Fund Agreement (1/4/12) - for ethical reasons, I allowed funding of research that attempts to change the sexual orientation of animals, but not humans because of the historical issues involved with harm to human subjects -- I fully expect that someday man will understand how to arbitrarily create any type of human and reprogram existing humans, which will create some interesting ethical dilemmas that I would love to document on in future blog posts!
- A copy of Thomas Kraemer, "Corvallis, Oregon State University gay activism 1969-2004," printed to PDF from OutHistory.org in 2010 is permanently stored by the OSU Scholars Archives@OSU -- includes a mention of the APA decision and briefly discusses the "nature vs. nurture" question of if being gay is set at birth or during early development? I make the case that the ultimate experiment to demonstrate an understanding of sexual orientation would be one where animals could be arbitrarily raised as gay or straight, but I suggest this would be irrelevant to the human issue of should gay people be discriminated against, even if being gay became a choice, because religion is also a choice and it is illegal to discriminate based on a person's choice of religion and so there would need to be another basis for it.