The Daily Agenda for Wednesday, July 17

Jim Burroway

July 17th, 2013

TODAY’S AGENDA:
Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Charlotte, NC (Black Pride); Colorado Springs, CO; Frankfurt, Germany; Hull, UK; Kitsap, WA; Leipzig, Germany; Marseille, France (EuroPride 2013); Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK; Peel, ON; Plymouth, UK; Portland, OR (Latino Pride); Reading, PA; Rochester, MN; Rochester, NY.

AIDS Walk This Weekend: San Francisco, CA.

Other Events This Weekend: Sand Blast Weekend, Asbury Park, NJ; Outfest Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA; Miami Beach Bruthaz, Miami Beach, FL; QFest Film Festival, Philadelphia, PA; Bear Week, Provincetown, MA.

TODAY IN HISTORY:
50 YEARS AGO: APA Refuses To Meet With Gay Rights Groups: 1963. One of the top goals of the early gay rights movement was to get the mental health professions to remove homosexuality from their list of mental disorders. As long as homosexuality remained listed, governmental agencies and private companies had all the excuse they needed to discriminate against gays and lesbians. In 1957, Psychologist Evelyn Hooker began publishing the results of a series of tests which demonstrated that gays and lesbians who weren’t patients of mental health professionals were indistinguishable from heterosexuals (see Aug 30). Before then, the mental health community thought that gays were mentally deficient because all of the prior research had only studied people who were confined to mental hospitals or were seen in clinical settings.

Despite the strength of this new evidence, it would still take many years for it to sink in. In 1963, the American Psychological Association was preparing to meet in Philadelphia for their annual convention. Leading gay activists, under the banner of the newly-formed East Coast Homophile Organizations (ECHO) also planned to meet in Philadelphia at the same time, and they proposed a meeting with members of the APA. But the APA convention’s organizing committee declined the invitation. In a very brief letter to leading gay rights activist Frank Kameny and the Washington, D.C., Mattachine Society, the APA simply said, “This problem” — yes, the APA saw the meeting as a problem — “has already been considered by the Convention Committee and it was decided that it was not in the best interests of the APA to meet with you, nor to publicize your meetings.”

Another nine years would pass before Kameny and Daughters of Bilitis New York activist Barbara Gittings would appear with Dr. John E. Fryer (as “Dr. H. Anonymous.”) on a panel discussion on homosexuality with the American Psychiatric Association (the other APA, which is the keeper of the list of mental disorders known as the DSM) (see May 2). That appearance nearly a decade later would wind up being a key moment leading to the elimination of homosexuality as a mental illness (see Dec 15).

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?

MattNYC

July 17th, 2013

Just got an offer for tickets to:

Breakfast With Mugabe,

Fraser Grace’s award-winning thriller, is inspired by accounts that Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, severely depressed, sought treatment from a white psychiatrist. It is a suspenseful and suddenly violent play that highlights issues of our time: the tension between modern ideas and ancient beliefs, the question of whether those who were colonized can live with their former subjugators, and how a man who was oppressed becomes an oppressor. As we watch citizens of countries around the world struggle under dictatorships, this play resonates strongly.

Breakfast With Mugabe was originally produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2005. Directed by Sir Anthony Sher, the production transferred to the West End in 2006 and won the highly prestigious John Whiting Award that year. It has gripped audiences in subsequent productions. Now New York theatergoers will be able to experience a play that the Times of London called “riveting!”
____

Anyone from England know if it explores Mugabe’s/Zimbabwe’s persecution of LGBTs?

Jim Hlavac

July 19th, 2013

You know, as near as I can figure — gayness is the only “disorder” that is both psychological and psychiatric — we’re that special!

Ben In Oakland

July 19th, 2013

And don’t forget sinful.

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