Righting Past Wrongs

The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) has issued an apology for their actions in the 1960s, classifying same-sex attraction as sexual deviation in its “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual” and conflating transgender identities with bisexuality and homosexuality.

The DSM classification led to people being coerced into using traumatic and harmful methods to “cure” same-sex attraction and non-conforming gender identities. It contributed to discrimination and prejudice in housing, employment, healthcare, and in society at large.

“Regrettably some of that era’s understanding of homosexuality (sic) and gender identity can be attributed to the American psychoanalytic establishment,” said Lee Jaffe, president of APsaA. “It is long past time to recognize and apologize for our role in the discrimination and trauma caused by our profession. While APsaA is now proud to be advocating for sexual and gender diversity, we all know that hearing the words ‘we are sorry’ is important to healing past trauma.”

APsaA has changed and in recent times lobbied for same-sex marriage and against ‘conversion therapy’.



BCN issue 156 cover

This first appeared in BCN magazine issue 156, July/August 2019.