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December 29, 2005

Anti-Gay Psychoanalyst Charles Socarides Dies


I have to say, as a queer person who came of age in the early days of the Internet and well into the era of cable television and mass media, this guy caused me some problems in my teen years.

I'm someone who likes to make fully informed decisions, and even as a young teenager who recognized that I was a lesbian, I researched mightily to try to figure out whether I was suffering some affliction or was just different. North Alabama is not exactly a hotbed of gay-positive images today, so picture it fifteen-plus years ago. I'd see that 20/20 or Newsweek would be doing a piece on some gay issue, and this jackass would always pop up talking about curing gays (always men, which only made the issue more confusing for me).

Fortunately, even then I was able to understand that there is a difference between problems caused by a physical or mental disease and problems that may look disease-like that are caused by external pressures.

See, I didn't feel diseased. I just felt like me, with a lot of fear about my parents no longer loving me or the remainder of my high school years being filled with taunts or even violence. None of it happened, not a bit of it, despite the efforts of men like Charles Socarides to permanently marginalize people like me.

He leaves this world as an object of derision, his work viewed as a painful throwback. This time and place, for all of the trouble and uncertainty of it, is far better than the one that Socarides labored to build. God bless his soul, and may whatever was broken in Charles Socarides be fixed in the next world.

Posted by shamanic at December 29, 2005 11:40 AM | TrackBack
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"An odd point of view to say the least."

Typing loudly from Atlanta, GA, since 2003.
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