the cure

Let’s Read a Time Magazine Article About Treating Homosexuality (From 46 Years Ago)

If hunting through the New York Times for the n-bomb can prove nauseating, then what might a quick trip back in time, circa 1965, through a declining newsweekly bring us? Oh, just this from Time:

One reason why homosexuals are so rarely cured is that they rarely try treatment. Too many of them actually believe that they are happy and satisfied the way they are. Another reason, says Philadelphia’s Dr. Samuel B. Hadden, is that too many psychiatrists are still inhibited by the 45-year-old pessimism of Freud, who was convinced that the condition was discouragingly difficult to treat. Even when psychiatrists do try to aid homosexuals, their efforts are likely to be ineffectual because they themselves have so little confidence of success. Both patients and doctors are wrong, Dr. Hadden told the American Group Psychotherapy Association in San Francisco last week.

Male homosexuals,* he said, are more treatable and curable than is generally believed. And the people who are the most effective therapists are other homosexuals who have been under treatment for a while. As a psychiatrist actively practicing group therapy for the treatment of neurotics and psychotics of all sorts, Dr. Hadden, 64, marshaled impressive evidence to support his case.

[…] *Dr. Hadden has never had enough female homosexual patients to form a group. “In general,” he says, “the females are far less unhappy than the men, and are under less social pressure.

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  • Chandler Las Vegas

    A prime example of the straight world telling us what is wrong with us and DEFENDING IT. The same bullshit ran through the whole “gays cannot be trusted with intelligence because they are subject to black-male”. Well thanks for stigmatizing us in the first place fuckers.

  • Jon B

    @Chandler Las Vegas: “gays cannot be trusted with intelligence because they are subject to black-male.” I guess they assume we’re all size queens? :P

  • Red Meat

    who cares, who ever wrote this is dead already LOL.

  • Soupy

    That’s nothing. Up until the 70s, the FBI manual said that homosexuals were a danger to others because they were prone to suicide, jumped off buildings, and landed on straight people.

  • Nathan

    @Jon B:

    Oh, rim job!

    Wait, rim shot!

  • Pete

    Time magazine had a “thing” about sensationalizing homosexuality all through the ’60s. Google (Time magazine essay homosexuality in America, January 21, 1966). It contains one shocking horror after another. And Time was considered to be liberal then. It is no wonder that coming out of the closet was so traumatic in the ’60’s, ’70’s, and even ’80’s. People lost their jobs, were kicked out of university positions, only for being gay.

  • PopSnap

    For all of the problems we still face, at least all of us below the age of 30 can appreciate being born when we were.

  • Oprah

    Well Dr .Hadden is 65, so essentially his brain is degenerating downward as opposed to the other way around. I do believe he believes what he is saying and practicing, so i wouldnt be overtly annoyed about what comes out of his mouth.

    However, his stupidity and ignorance does a raise a question in my screwed up mind. Does the “Will” have the power to surpress homosexuality? I mean, what is so difficult in finding a clueless, low libido opposite sex partner, marry them and have a family. I mean, the Human mind is very complex and powerful, i think–one can easily convince themselves they are not homosexual, and actually lay down and do the dirty deed. For men- it’s difficult i assuem, he has to be hard and actually do it. For women, not so difficult, spread your legs, and let the rabbit hump away.

  • Coffee&Chicory

    @PopSnap: amen, I’m so grateful

  • Casey

    “One reason why homosexuals are so rarely cured is that they rarely try treatment. Too many of them actually believe that they are happy and satisfied the way they are.”

    So true. If you tried it you’d be cured.

  • BenFrankly

    This is why I am so messed up. Life was hell for me as I tried to peek out of the closet in 1966. My life was ruined by the attitude towards Gays in 1965-66. People died as a result of this oppression and these attitudes. I do hope there is a special hell for Dr. Hadden but I am willing to allow him to be forgiven if he helps gays from the spiritual realm.

  • Jim Hlavac

    @Red Meat: It’s actually important for all of what was said back then to surface — for people still believe it. All over the internet there are people stating they have the cure. They state they know the cause. They believe, and they talk to politicians and everyone else, to spread their good word that they can solve the problem of gay people which they believe exists. In the DADT hearings that instituted the law in the 1990s this was still being said, over 150 witnesses all said this, one after the other. In the repeal debate the same things were being said. The Family Research Council and all the “family” groups today say it. All the “ex-gay” groups, NARTH, AFTAH, and the rest, they all still say it. The Catholic Church, the Mormons and the Baptists say it right today. And many psychologists and psychiatrists say it yet.

    What all these have in common is that they “know the cause and they have have the cure.”

    The only problem is they all have completely different reasons for the “cause” and “cures” that are just the opposite of everyone else’s. And they get together and they say they’re all correct. And the only people who are wrong on the issue is us. I’d say some 75% of the nation thinks it happened to us well after birth, and that it can be “corrected” if we really wanted to — and that’s even a lot of our um, good friends in the hetero world.

    Oh, I’d say the man is dead, but not his ideas, and a whole compendium of what was stated as fact back then ought to be brought to light and compared to what people are saying today. And the question asked: “Do you people still believe the same things after all these years?” It would make for interesting discussion, indeed.

  • DJ

    “One reason why homosexuals are so rarely cured is that they rarely try treatment. Too many of them actually believe that they are happy and satisfied the way they are.”

    Lls this cracked me up. I don’t believe, I AM happy being a mo. I’m just not happy with the people who try to make my life a living hell. Great article.

  • TheRealAdam

    @Jim Hlavac: Of course people still believe the same things. It’s just moved out of the accepted mainstream, where it was believed and debated by all, and instead is used now by anti-gay attack groups and individuals to justify discrimination against us.

    That article could’ve just as easily been written today, and many people (I’d say probably the majority, even today) would agree with it, at least partially.

  • Jim Hlavac

    @TheRealAdam: You know, you’re right, and I just read the article, and it indeed could have been written this morning. And in my waltzing around the Tea Party Internet [someone has got to rise to the challenge :)] I find the exact same arguments being made today. It’s like they pull this article off the shelf and use it, almost word for word. It’s astounding.

    The weirdest thing is that Time references a Rock Hudson movie disapprovingly for making a joke about gayness. Ain’t that the irony! I drank cocktails with Mr. Hudson a slew of times between 1978 and 1983 in the Ninth Circle, a most fabulous gay bar on W 10th Street in Greenwich Village. He was old, I just turned 20 when I met him the first time. I now wonder if he knew he was held up by Time magazine in 1966 as a paradigm of American manliness against gay folks?

    It’s just pure comedy gold. And as I tell many a site — “folks, we just giggle, it’s just too stupid, you’re waterboarding yourselves over us smooching, get over it.” Vibrant and comedic discussion ensues.

  • David Ehrenstein

    @Jim Hlavac: LOVED The Ninth Circle!

    One of th reasons we’re so rarely cured is we’re not sick.

  • Codswallop

    @Jim Hlavac: I don’t know why I bother, but commenting on mainstream sites like Yahoo is how I get my kicks. I think it’s because if I read an article I can’t resist seeing what the comments are and they’re always packed so full of horseshit my choice is either to say my piece or turn into a misanthrope and die early of an aneurysm from holding it in.

    My favorite point to make is that homosexuality isn’t a choice, as study after study has shown, but religion is a choice or there would be no purpose to all those missionaries and door-to-door proselytizers. Rather obvious, isn’t it? People may not remember making the choice because they were raised in it from infancy, and but for an accident of birth they wouldn’t believe what they believe. If they CHOSE to do so they could switch religions to one that was less hateful toward gays because people switch religions every day or decide they no longer believe at all.

    However, if they marry someone who “used to be gay,” don’t say they haven’t been warned when it turns out that marrying someone who required the threat of hellfire and brimstone to walk down the aisle with you isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be.

  • Jim Hlavac

    @David Ehrenstein: Oh so true on both counts. Me and my friends are still wistful about that bar, it was magical. I was so fortunate to grow up in Long Island, and had a job making plenty of bucks, so I started going in high school. Then I moved into Manhattan, just a short 10 minute walk away. Oh to be young and gay again!

    As for the “sick” — ain’t that the truth. We’re the only “sickness” which ever organized a movement to stay “ill” that’s for sure. :)

  • Jim Hlavac

    @Codswallop: I bother commenting on the websites I do because it needs to be done. We each go to our own places to comment, some more timidly, some more boldly. I am of the latter persuasion. But still, it must be done. I comment on gay sites like this, but that’s preaching to the choir. It’s the congregants which need the sermon. The one way we did achieve what we have so far, which is enormous, and which you young ones can’t often grasp (and it’s not your fault,) is that we commented to everyone we knew or could reach. Now we’re just branching out.

    I keep it civil, and I keep it funny. Like the time I told a “fag” ridden site — “You people have dyslexia from the lousy liberal schools you complain about. The word is G-A-Y — not F-A-G. And you can’t even spell it wrong right.” The use of the word has plummeted on that site. And I’ve had guest posts. And people await what I might say, some with gritted teeth. But there’s a change a-coming. They’re tired of fighting us; they’re coming to the conclusion they’re wrong. Even Christian fundamentalist colleges are coming to the reality that we’re just as natural as mom and apple pie. I ask often: “Don’t you just marvel at our fortitude?” And then I tell ’em “God put us here as a test of your decency, many of you have failed.” Which does raise the eyebrows.

    I heartily recommending wading into it all and going for the gusto.

  • William

    @Casey: It always amazes me how so many experts can tell me how unhappy I am when they know nothing about me or about being gay. For the record. I have never been happier since I came out.

  • Jeffree

    The main difference between 1965 isn’t the common view that gay is “icky” but how may more people have realized we’re NOT going back into the closet and that we’re not going to settle for second class citizenship.

    The other difference is that science has made advances in understanding of human sexuality, and most psychologists or psychiatrists don’t believe we’re “dis-ordered.”

    @Jim Hlavac: I too spend some time “slumming” with the bigots on their sites. Like you said, it helps to keep it light. And know their history & ideology better than they often do.
    I bet I’ve seen your work !

  • B

    It would be anatomically more accurate if the “switch” determining if you are gay or not was placed a couple of feet lower in the picture.

    Dr. Hadden seems to not have realized that the length of time that a “cure” for homosexuality lasts is correlated with what is known as the refractory period.

  • Kieran

    Time Magazine. Still writing the same old biased bullshit that nobody ever reads unless they’re trapped in a dentist waiting room.

  • Geoff B

    Why do we get outraged over a 46 year old magazine article? Things have changed so much. Yes, we are still discriminates against, and yes, inbred fucktard churches still hate us, but to think 20 yesrs ago there would be states that allow gay marriage? In 1991, this would be unbelievable. We have come a long way. Yes, we have a long way to go, but like a dear friend of ours (mine and my partner) who is in his 60s told me, “it may not happen in my lifetime,but it will happen in yours”. My partner and I are in our late 30s, and I hope our friend will be around to dance at our wedding, and maybe it’ll happen soon enough so me and my partner can dance at his wedding.

  • thematics

    @Geoff B:
    You confuse ‘outrage’ with despair, disbelief and discouragement. Yes, things have got better, but 30+ states have amended their constitutions to forbid same-gender marriage, DOMA is still on the books, and ENDA has yet to be passed.

    The Tea Party contingent aims to set civil rights back to the early ’60s for us GLBT folk. Things may appear brighter to you, if you live in a blue state, in an urban area, but things aren’t quite so cheery for the average Jane or Joe living in flyover states, hamlets, exurbia, and the bulk of the South.

  • j dawg

    I feel like the shrink was a queer like us….they always are.

  • Steve

    The American Group Psychotherapy Association has since adopted positions regarding proper treatment for gay and lesbian people. The AGPA supports same-sex attraction as a normal sexual orientation. The goal of therapy is to support the gay or lesbian patient as he/she comes to terms with, and learns to function with, same-sex orientation. See,

    “Because peer influence is so great in adolescence, group therapy is a logical and effective treatment modality providing psychosexual education to provide accurate information about human sexuality, gender identity and sexual orientation; a forum to explore with peers myths, fears, stereotypes, concerns about dating and other age appropriate concerns; and the guidance of a therapist to resolve clinical psychological issues. Adolescence is a time of great personal upheaval, and for gay, lesbian and bisexual adolescents who must come to terms with a divergent sexual identity, this developmental task is particularly daunting. The higher incidence of suicide in gay adolescents (Report of the Secretary’s Task Force of Youth Suicide, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1989) underscores the urgent need to support gay, lesbian and bisexual teens.”

    “Group therapy for gay, lesbian and bisexual adults helps them complete a series of tasks in order to develop and maintain a positive gay identity (Cass 1979; Coleman, 1981); group psychotherapy provides fertile ground for this developmental process (Frost, 1996). Groups with gay, lesbian and bisexual members help group members to normalize their sexual feelings and experiences, give and receive social support from peers, explore cultural myths about sexuality and sexual orientation, work through their own negative stereotypes (Malyon, 1982), identify ways to deal with discrimination, and use group members as positive role models. Because stigma still surrounds homosexuality and bisexuality, heterogeneous groups can provide gay, lesbian and bisexual members an opportunity to learn to function visibly and comfortably as a sexual minority in the larger culture (Hawkins, 1998).”

  • Laura

    He did, through me, I’m homophilic.

  • Laura

    He did through me, his great grand-daughter, I’m homophilic.

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