A Reckoning with Psychiatry’s Past: The American Psychiatric Association Steps Forward

We are living through a time of reckoning, a time of acknowledgment and apology for catastrophic mistakes forgotten and erased.  For The American Psychiatric Association (APA) this process began long ago and continues to this day with an upcoming special screening of the documentary CURED.   Thanks to the passion and courage of gay and lesbian activists who would no longer accept the label of “mental illness,” the APA delisted homosexuality as a mental illness in 1973, a story told with riveting dramatic intensity in CURED co-produced and directed by Patrick Sammon and Bennett Singer.  This month, CURED will be screened by the APA in a special screening for its members nationwide featuring an appearance by the APA’s Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director Dr. Saul Levin—-openly gay himself.  How far the APA has traveled since the days of its influential member Dr. Charles Socarides, author of the political screed “Homosexuality:  A Freedom too Far”!  There is poetic justice in the fact that we are the Fiscal Sponsor of CURED.  The original Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C. was the non-profit platform and home to Dr. Franklin E. Kameny who helped lead the charge against the world of Socarides and every lie he stood for. “Psychiatry is the enemy incarnate!”, Kameny yelled to the APA convention at the Shoreham Hotel in 1971. “You may take this as a declaration of war against you!”

Screenshot from the APA Website, June 2021.
For more information on CURED, click here.