In 1981, Ronald Bayer wrote a book claiming that the reason that the APA declassified homosexuality was solely because of gay activists. Bayer, not a Psychologist, but a Professor of Political Science, reported on this, but was not an active participant. As a direct refutation on Bayer's work, the book, "American Psychiatry and Homosexuality: An Oral History" was published 2007. In it 17 APA members who participated in the 1973 APA meeting, are interviewed and discuss what really happened and what the attitudes towards homosexuality was like, at the time. These are people who were actually there, not someone like Bayer, who just reported on this. Here is a description:
Some quotes and anectodes from the book:Product Description
Interviews and first-hand accounts of an historic decision that affected the mental health profession—and American society and culture Through the personal accounts of those who were there, American Psychiatry and Homosexuality: An Oral History examines the 1973 decision by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to remove homosexuality from its diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM). This unique book includes candid, one-on-one interviews with key mental health professionals who played a role in the APA’s decision, those who helped organize gay, lesbian, and bisexual psychiatrists after the decision, and others who have made significant contributions in this area within the mental health field.
American Psychiatry and Homosexuality presents an insider’s view of how homosexuality was removed from the DSM, the gradual organization of gay and lesbian psychiatrists within the APA, and the eventual formation of the APA-allied Association of Gay & Lesbian Psychiatrists (AGLP). The book profiles 17 individuals, both straight and gay, who made important contributions to organized psychiatry and the mental health needs of lesbian and gay patients, and illustrates the role that gay and lesbian psychiatrists would later play in the mental health field when they no longer had to hide their identities.
Individuals profiled in American Psychiatry and Homosexuality include:
Dr. John Fryer, who disguised his identity to speak before the APA’s annual meeting in 1972 on the discrimination gay psychiatrists faced in their own profession
Dr. Charles Silverstein, who saw the diagnosis of homosexuality as a means of social control
Dr. Lawrence Hartmann, who helped reform the APA and later served as its President in 1991-92
Dr. Robert J. Campbell, who helped persuade the APA’s Nomenclature Committee to hear scientific data presented by gay activists
Dr. Judd Marmor, an early psychoanalytic critic of theories that pathologized homosexuality
Dr. Robert Spitzer, who chaired the APA’s Nomenclature Committee
Dr. Frank Rundle, who helped organize the first meeting of what would become the APA Caucus of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Psychiatrists
Dr. David Kessler, AGLP President from 1980-82
Dr. Nanette Gartrell, a pioneer of feminist issues within the APA
Dr. Stuart Nichols, President of the AGLP in 1983-84 and a founding member of the Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists of New York (GLPNY)
Dr. Emery Hetrick, a founding member of both AGLP and GLPNY
Dr. Bertram Schaffner, who was instrumental in providing group psychotherapy for physicians with AIDS
Dr. Martha Kirkpatrick, a long-time leader in psychiatry and psychoanalysis, both as a woman and an “out” lesbian
Dr. Richard Isay, the first openly gay psychoanalyst in the American Psychoanalytic Association
Dr. Richard Pillard, best known for studying the incidence of homosexuality in families of twins
Dr. Edward Hanin, former Speaker of the APA Assembly
Dr. Ralph Roughton, the first openly gay Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst to be recognized within the American and International Psychoanalytic Associations
American Psychiatry and Homosexuality presents the personal, behind-the-scenes accounts of a major historical event in psychiatry and medicine and of a decision that has affected society and culture ever since. This is an essential resource for mental health educators, supervisors, and professionals; historians; and LGBT readers in general.
Amazon.com: American Psychiatry and Homosexuality: An Oral History: Jack Drescher, Joseph P. Merlino: Books
By contrast, these first-person accounts provide corrective insider views of the process. Several speak of the depressing psychiatric attitudes prior to 1973. Lawrence Hartmann recalls, "The few analysts who wrote about gay people tended to describe them as nasty psychopaths, close to psychosis. I am not making this up!"Judd Marmor recalls the view that "homosexuals were inherently seriously mentally disturbed, irresponsible, and completely driven by needs over which they had no control." They were supposedly "emotionally immature, deceptive, impulsive, unreliable, and incapable of truly loving."...gay activist Ron Gold arranged for gays to meet with the APA's Committee on Nomenclature where they laid out evidence from studies supporting gay mental health. Robert Jean Campbell recalls, "They had a lot of data that I had never seen. I don't know where they got it, but I was really overwhelmed by the data."Campbell argued that the committee should take its own look at the scientific evidence about homosexuality.Spitzer recalls thinking, "Is there something that they (other mental disorders) all share that I can argue does not apply to homosexuality?" His conclusion was that people with other conditions "were usually not very happy about it. They had distress or...in some way the condition interfered with their overall functioning."
Spitzer continues, "If you accepted what the activists said, clearly here were homosexuals who were not distressed by being homosexual. Instead, they might be distressed by how people reacted to their being gay."Cure-therapists, mostly psychoanalysts such as Irving Bieber and the zealously homophobic Charles Socarides (whose son is openly gay), were furious and began gathering signatures demanding a referendum to overturn the board's decision. Edward Hanin recalls, "The controversy was led by people who essentially said this was politics intruding into science. It wasn't. The APA Board of Trustees had reviewed very carefully the evidence related to homosexuality."Judd Marmor agrees: "The fact is that the decision to remove homosexuality...was not based on gay political pressure but on scientific correctness and only after a full year of exploratory hearings and study of the issue. The so-called 'politics' surrounding the decision was subsequently instilled into the process by opponents."Robert Jean Campbell comments, "I thought the only reason they were worried was that they wouldn't have any patients if this went through. People would no longer go to them for something that was no longer a disease."I would take the word of those who were there, rather than that of a reseracher-reporter, any day.Dr. John Fryer, M.D., a psychiatrist who in 1972 spoke at a psychiatry panel on homosexuality, appearing as “Dr. H. Anonymous,” disguising his true physical identity—and even his voice. In those days, to come out as a gay psychiatrist meant a ruined career.
I hope this has been helpful and cleared up a lot of misconceptions. I do not believe that those on the opposite side of this issue will change their mind because of this information. Prejudice and bigotry can rarely altered, even in the light of irrefutable evidence. Thing is, regardless of whether they believe it or not, they are wrong. And that is factual.
Now, since this was originally posted by me 2 and a half years ago, may of the links that I originally used are no longer working. However, I will provide links upon request.
So, in conclusion, the activism to declassify homosexuality as a disorder was to get research examined. Bronson's explanation has no basis in reality... except for extreme conservatives who have no desire to learn anything new.