Gay men and lesbian women from surrounding small

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gay men and lesbian women from surrounding small towns. For example, people in the northwestern area of the United States relocated to Seattle and Portland. Not every gay man or lesbian woman has left the rural areas though; there is a Gay Hog Farmers Association of Wisconsin and many stories tell of the continuing hidden life of people in the rural South (Sears, 1990).
Page 337 HEALTHY Sexualilty Being Gay Is Normal In 1957, Dr. Evelyn Hooker, a psychologist at UCLA and a married heterosexual woman, examined the personality tests of 60 individuals; one group was heterosexual and the other homosexual. She had a panel of three distinguished doctors and researchers analyze the tests without knowing the sexual orientation of the subjects. They all declared that in terms of the psychological adjustment of these 60 people, they were equal. To her shock, however, when she reported these findings, many of her scientific colleagues did not believe her. Together with psychiatrists and other researchers, she began new studies that eventually led to the creation of the blue-ribbon taskforce of the National Institute of Mental Health to reconsider all the scientific evidence regarding homosexuality as a mental disease (Bayer, 1987; Hooker, 1957). As a result
of the final recommendations by this taskforce, the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973. At the time, this change was regarded as highly controversial and was opposed by many in society. Three decades later, however, the doctors, such as psychiatrist Robert L. Spitzer, who argued that gay men could be “cured” through treatment, have now found that they were wrong and that sexual orientation cannot be changed. Dr. Spitzer later apologized to homosexual people for how these flawed views harmed LGBTQ people (Carey, 2012). Years later, an award-winning film about Dr. Hooker's work appeared, called Changing Our Minds, which celebrated this landmark in the rights of LGBTQ people and the achievements of the heterosexual psychologists who served as allies in the search for truth and equal treatment for LGBTQ people ( tt0103938/ ). Today the American Psychological Association also views LGBTQ as normal variations of human development (see APA policy statement: sorientation.html ). Whatever the true number of sexual minorities in the United States, they have become more visible, active, and out, and as we will see in the closing section of this chapter, along with LGBTQ from other places around the world, they seek the dignity of being regarded with full human rights. Bisexuality Although bisexuality has begun to be viewed in a positive way, for decades it was viewed mostly in negative cultural terms (Diamond, 2008; Elliason, 1997; Weinberg, Williams, & Pryor, 1995). This negative view was partly because, in the 19th century, medical sexologists saw bisexuality as another form of mental and physical disease. Moreover, both heterosexuals and homosexuals were suspicious of people who stated that they had dual attractions to both sexes, because they saw this as lying or fence-

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