Dr. Henry Anonymous, homosexuality, and the DSM

Listen 49:47

Guests: Ain Gordon, Lance Wahlert

At the 1972 American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Conference, Philadelphia Psychiatrist John Fryer gave a speech while wearing a mask, using voice modifier, under the pseudonym “Dr. Anonymous.” He told the APA that he was a gay psychiatrist, and that homosexuality should be removed as a mental illness from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Playwright AIN GORDON, who studied Dr. Fryer at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, wrote a play about Fryer called 217 Boxes of Dr. Henry Anonymous. He joins us along with University of Pennsylvania Professor LANCE WAHLERT, who will break down psychiatry’s treatment of queerness since Dr. Anonymous, including modern day conversion therapy and DSM terminology.

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