Group Apologizes for Treating Homosexuality as a Mental Illness

As pride month is almost coming to an end, here is some very good news for people who may have felt less equal in our society because some have psychoanalytical groups have classified their sexual orientation as deviant in society.

The battle for acknowledgment, acceptance and equal rights has been a long and difficult journey. Although now that the American Psychiatric Association has apologized for their past views, a lot more has to be done to largely impact our society. This action, however, will surely create a ripple effect that will change many other people’s views, mainly, perceiving homosexuality as a mental illness.

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Years have passed and yet the American Psychoanalytic Association has always classified homosexuality as part of the list of mental disorders.  Since 1968, they have classified people who belong to the LGBTQ community as insane wherein they permitted psychiatrists, psychologists, psychoanalysts, and other mental health professionals to analyze and change the LGBTQ people into becoming straight.

In 1991, the APsaA had declassified homosexuality as a mental condition but only due to the threat of the anti-discrimination law. Now, the organization has already recognized the gravity of their perception and has provided support toward LGBTQ equality by opposing the conversion of gay people through therapy.

Dr. Lee Jaffe, the president of the APsaA, has apologized for their group’s action on how they treated homosexuality unfairly, specifically, categorizing it as a mental disorder.

At the organization’s 109th annual meeting in San Diego, Dr. Lee mentioned: “It is long past time to recognize and apologize for our role in the discrimination and trauma caused by our profession and say, ‘We are sorry.’

“It’s hard to admit that one has been so wrong,” Jaffee added.

“While our efforts in advocating for sexual and gender diversity since are worthy of pride, it is long past time to recognize and apologize for our role in the discrimination and trauma caused by our profession and say ‘we are sorry.'”

The American Psychoanalytic Association released a longer, formal apology as well:

“The American Psychoanalytic Association is apologizing for their past views that pathologized homosexuality and transgender identities. The apology comes as the nation is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in New York City when patrons of that now-historic establishment fought back against anti-LGBTQ prejudice, hatred and oppression. The announcement is scheduled for this morning at the start of their 109th Annual Meeting taking place in San Diego.

“In 1969, homosexuality was considered a mental illness and sexual orientation was conflated with gender identity by the mental health field. This led to many being coerced, either by force or choice, into traumatic and harmful methods to ‘cure’ homosexual desires and non-conforming gender identities. This belief also contributed to widespread discrimination and prejudice in housing, employment, healthcare, and in society at large.

“‘Regrettably some of that era’s understanding of homosexuality and gender identity can be attributed to the American psychoanalytic establishment,’ said Lee Jaffe, president of APsaA. ‘It is long past time to recognize and apologize for our role in the discrimination and trauma caused by our profession.’

“‘While APsaA is now proud to be advocating for sexual and gender diversity, we all know that hearing the words ‘we are sorry’ is important to healing past trauma,’ said Jaffe.”

What do you think about this apology?

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