A New Normal

Leading psychiatrists, abandoning Freud’s relatively nonjudgmental position, described homosexuals as “sexual psychopaths.” There were experiments in electric and pharmacological shock treatment, hormone injection, castration, and lobotomy. One site of such remedies, Atascadero State Hospital, in California, later became known as “Dachau for queers.”

In the New Yorker, Alex Ross has a moving overview of the gay rights struggle, going from past persecution to the seemingly rapid gains of the past decade. It’s important history to be acquainted with, even for those who don’t directly share it.