Homosexuality is not a disease

May 17 is International Day against Homophobia (IDAHO). On May 17, 1990, the World Health Organization removed “homosexuality” from its list of “mental disorders.”

This is a global milestone day.

As human rights activist Kyle Knight puts it: it denies a perception that equates “someone’s existence and identity” with “mental health conditions.”

On this special day, we would like to invite you to reread a letter.

In 1935, psychoanalyst Freud wrote back to a mother who suspected her son was gay.

This is how he communicates:

“I judge from the letter that your child should be a homosexual. I am surprised that you did not use this word to describe your child.

I’m curious, why are you reluctant to describe your child this way? Being gay is obviously nothing good, but nothing to be ashamed of either. It is not a vice, nor a derogation, nor a disease.

We believe that it is a developed “sexual diversity”. From ancient times to contemporary times, there are many great people who were gay (Plato, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, etc.).

For us to persecute homosexuality as a crime is a very strong injustice. If you don’t want to believe me, you can read Havelock Ellis.

If you want me to help, I guess, you want to eliminate homosexuality and make your child normal straight. My answer is: usually, we can’t do it.

What psychoanalysis can offer your son is another way of life. If he is unhappy, nervous, conflicted, socially withdrawn, psychoanalysis may provide him with peace and harmony. Whether he is gay or straight.

If you make up your mind that your child will come to my treatment—though I guess you won’t—he will have to come to Vienna, because I have no plans to leave here any time soon. Anyway, please let me know your answer. “

Floyd P.S. I don’t find your handwritten letters difficult to read, and I hope you don’t dislike my scribbles or my grammar.

In 2022, the LGBTQIA+ community adopted the theme of International Day Against Homophobia: Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Rights.

Designed to remind people:

Today, 37 countries still consider homosexuality illegal, and many people around the world still live in fear of LGBTQIA+. They do not have the right to freely express their gender and sexuality, their bodies are subjected to violence, and their mental health is at risk.

Each of us should have the right to live in an environment free from homophobia, trans, bisexuality or structural discrimination.

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