May 21, 2022 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

Alcohol a Factor in Griffith Park fatal Hit and Run of Senior Gay Cyclist

May 13, 2022

May 13, 2022

77-year-old Andrew Jelmert killed in April 23 hit and run training for AIDS/Lifecycle By Susan Payne The Los Angeles Police...

Kaiser Permanente Hospitals Receive LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader Designation

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

Kaiser Permanente’s 15 hospitals recognized by Humans Rights Campaign  By Susan Payne This year, Kaiser Permanente’s 15 hospitals in southern...

‘Match the Stars’ During MisMatch Game Performance Benefitting the LGBT Center

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

By Susan Payne An unstoppable comedy phenomenon is set to reach a $200,000 goal in money raised for the Los...

Confidential Settlement Made With Many LGBTQ Students at USC Over Alleged Doctor Misconduct

May 5, 2022

May 5, 2022

More than 80 former patients accuse Dr. Dennis Kel of sexual battery, harassment and inappropriate remarks By Susan Payne In...

Audio Meets Reality in ‘Being Trans’ Podcast Series Showcasing the Lives of Four Transgender Individuals of the LA Area

May 5, 2022

May 5, 2022

Through narrative-style storytelling, BEING Studios gives listeners an intimate, first-person access into the worlds of people they may not otherwise...

Orange County Man Faces Federal Charge on Suspicion of Making Anti-LGBT Threats Against Merriam-Webster

April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022

Jeremy Hanson of Rossmore charged in connection to October threats  By Susan Payne  An Orange County man faces a federal...

Palm Springs Approves Universal Income Pilot Program for Transgender, Nonbinary Residents

April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022

Payments to start in 2023 By Susan Payne A guaranteed income pilot program that would provide transgender and nonbinary residents...

Nobel Laureate and Education Activist Malala Yousafzai to Speak in Beverly Hills

April 28, 2022

April 28, 2022

May 15, 2022 at Saban Theatre Malala Yousafzai, the youngest-ever Nobel recipient and activist for education and equality is coming...

Compton Man Arrested for Allegedly Targeting, Robbing 20+ Gay Men He Met on Grindr

April 24, 2022

April 24, 2022

By Susan Payne Authorities have announced the arrest of a Compton man who allegedly targeted and robbed more than 20...

Mars Wright, ProjectQ Mural in Hollywood Illuminates “Trans Joy”

April 24, 2022

April 24, 2022

By Susan Payne A two-building mural in East Hollywood commissioned by nonprofit ProjectQ represents Trans joy designed and painted by...

L.A. County Business to Florida, Texas Banned Amid LGBTQ Policies

April 24, 2022

April 24, 2022

The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors has voted to ban all county travel to Florida and Texas due to policies...

Superior Court Rules Diverse Company Board Laws Unconstitutional

April 8, 2022

April 8, 2022

On the first of April, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled the law which requires California-based or headquartered...

Models of Pride Festival Returns in Person, Online

April 8, 2022

April 8, 2022

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Mayhem Miller glanced at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Models of Pride Festival crowd, ready to...

Anti-LGBTQ+ Attack in Pasadena Sparks Active Hate Crime Investigation

April 8, 2022

April 8, 2022

By Susan Payne The Pasadena Police Department needs public assistance in finding the individuals responsible for attacking three Ixtapa Cantina...