LGBTQ “Insane” at St. Elizabeths

St. Elizabeths Hospital for the Insane was supposed to help straighten Thomas H. Tattersall out, but by all appearances, it put him through a world of pain.

Tattersall was admitted to the federal hospital in Southeast D.C. in the mid-1950s, after he had been forced out of his job at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureaucrats in the Eisenhower administration learned that Tattersall, a married man with a history of mental illness, was what was then pejoratively labelled a “self-admitted homosexual.” He was gay, in other words—and needed to be cured of it.

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