October 20, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

From “Sociopathic” to “Sexual Deviation,” Dr. Hooker Fought for the L.A. LGBTQ+ Community

One of the larger, uphill battles for the LGBTQ+ community has been fighting the classification of “criminal” or “crazy.” One woman on the forefront of this battle was Dr. Evelyn Hooker. A psychologist teaching at UCLA in the 1940s and ‘50s, Hooker became infatuated with gay subculture of Los Angeles, and her research reflected as such. In 1952, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) included homosexuality under sociopathic personality disturbance.” In 1954, Hooker applied for a National Institute of Mental Health grant to conduct a scientific study comparing homosexual and heterosexual men. In 1956, she presented her paper, “The Adjustment of the Male Overt Homosexual at an APA meeting in Chicago. Her research showed that gay men are as well-adjusted as straight men.

In the 1960s, leaders of the gay liberation movement used the works of Hooker and other medical professionals to confront the APA and other mental health professional organizations. LGBTQ+ individuals were denied many basic rights under the law partly because homosexuality was designated a mental disorder. The designation also increased societal prejudices towards the LGBTQ+ community. However, in 1968, the APA changed the classification of homosexuality from “sociopathic” to “sexual deviation,” a step toward the acceptance of the queer community thriving in Los Angeles. In 1969, a National Institute of Mental Health study chaired by Hooker urged the decriminalization of private sex acts between consenting adults.

Hooker retired from her research at UCLA in 1970  and started a private practice in Santa Monica. Most of her clients were gay men and lesbians. Hooker died at her Santa Monica home in 1996, at the age of 89.

Related Posts

UC Riverside Study Finds Same-Sex Couples Interact Better

October 18, 2020

October 18, 2020

University of California, Riverside a doctoral research university, held a study which found that Same-gender couples have higher-quality interactions with...

Campus Pride 2020

October 18, 2020

October 18, 2020

Campus Pride commemorates LGBTQ History Month and National Coming Out Day by releasing its 2020 BEST OF THE BEST LGBTQ-Friendly...

LGBTQ Foster Youth In L.A. Falling Through The Cracks

October 18, 2020

October 18, 2020

A topic that has not garnered as much attention as it should is that of foster youth in Los Angeles...

WeHo Announces Virtual Drag Queen Story Hour

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

The City of West Hollywood brings to life an online hour like no other via Virtual Drag Queen Story Hour....

AIDS Memorial Quilt Virtual Exhibition

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

The National AIDS Memorial is announcing a virtual exhibition of the AIDS Memorial Quilt (the Quilt) that will feature more...

Gold Coast Bar Closing Permanently:  E.P.I.C Pride Show, October, 14, 2020

October 14, 2020

October 14, 2020

E.P.I.C Pride highlighting the latest LGBTQ news in Entertainment, Politics, International affairs, and Culture.  -Gold Coast Bar in WeHo Closing...

National Coming Out Day

October 11, 2020

October 11, 2020

Thirty-two years ago, on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, National Coming Out...

Martin Jenkins First Openly Gay Black Man To Be Nominated For Supreme Court Justice

October 11, 2020

October 11, 2020

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced he has nominated Martin J. Jenkins as the first openly gay and third Black man...

Anne Heche Eliminated From DWTS

October 11, 2020

October 11, 2020

After four weeks on season 29 of the ABC reality dance competition Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) Anne Heche has...

Two Supreme Court Justices Want To Overturn Marriage Equality

October 11, 2020

October 11, 2020

After the Supreme Court today rejected the appeal of Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses...

Gay Men Take Over #ProudBoys On Twitter

October 7, 2020

October 7, 2020

Following the first presidential debate between Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, gay men throughout the country have...

Hate Crime In MacArthur Park

October 7, 2020

October 7, 2020

Another transgender woman of color was brutally attacked in MacArthur Park in Los Angeles’ Westlake neighborhood on Sunday night after...

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies: E.P.I.C Pride Show: October, 7, 2020

October 7, 2020

October 7, 2020

Highlighting the latest LGBTQ news in Entertainment, Politics, International affairs, and Culture. -Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dead at 87 -National LGBTQ...

Tech Companies Offer Hormone Therapy At Home

October 4, 2020

October 4, 2020

Plume, the first health tech company built for the transgender community, announced that it has been named Preferred GAHT Provider...

City Of WeHo Celebrates Disabilities Awareness Month

October 4, 2020

October 4, 2020

The City of West Hollywood and its Disabilities Advisory Board are hosting two events to recognize Disabilities Awareness Month, which...