November 26, 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

United Against Hate

November 25, 2020

November 25, 2020

From Nov. 30th – Dec. 6th, Los Angeles County will participate in its inaugural “United Against Hate Week.” The week-long...

TOA Waters An LGBT Owned Business Opens

November 25, 2020

November 25, 2020

With so many LGBTQ businesses closing due to financial strain from the COVID-19 pandemic, TOA Waters opened this fall, offering...

Tubi Increases LGBTQ+ Programming

November 22, 2020

November 22, 2020

In a day and age where representation matters Tubi, a free streaming service, is currently offering a premium selection of...

COVID-19 Cases Surging In Los Angeles

November 22, 2020

November 22, 2020

As California surpassed one million COVID-19 cases as the rate of infections continued to rise across the country, Los Angeles...

Oreo To Announce Rainbow Oreos- E.P.I.C Pride Show, November 18, 2020

November 19, 2020

November 19, 2020

E.P.I.C Pride, Highlighting the latest LGBTQ news in Entertainment, Politics, International affairs, and Culture. – Oreo To Announce Rainbow Oreos...

#FreeBritney Rally

November 19, 2020

November 19, 2020

Fans of Britney Spears, one of the most popular pop stars in the world, performed at a Free Britney rally...

Call Of Duty Non-Binary Characters

November 19, 2020

November 19, 2020

The newest game and seventeenth installment of the Call Of Duty series, Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, a...

Transgender Day Of Remembrance

November 16, 2020

November 16, 2020

The International Transgender Day Of Remembrance will be held on Nov. 20th, 2020. Trans Day Of Remembrance (TDoR) is a...

28% Of LGBTQ People Voted For Trump

November 15, 2020

November 15, 2020

After a tense 2020 election exit polls are now showing that 28% of LGBTQ people voted for Republican President Donald...

Britney Spears Loses Conservatorship Battle

November 15, 2020

November 15, 2020

Legendary pop princess Britney Spears has been in a long and drawn out court battle to remove her father, James...

Campus Pride Celebrates #GivingTuesday Campaign

November 15, 2020

November 15, 2020

GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement, unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and their world....

Amy Coney Barrett Threat To LGBTQ People – E.P.I.C Pride Show, November, 11, 2020

November 12, 2020

November 12, 2020

E.P.I.C Pride, Highlighting the latest LGBTQ news in Entertainment, Politics, International affairs, and Culture. – Amy Coney Barrett Threat To...

The Right Size Condom For You

November 12, 2020

November 12, 2020

Condoms and sex seem to be a taboo subject for discussion. Health class 101 points out the male and female...

WeHo Sounds Virtual Concert Series

November 12, 2020

November 12, 2020

The City of West Hollywood is launching its 2020-21 WeHo Sounds Free Virtual Concert Series, which will take place on...

First Out Gay Immigrant Running For California State Assembly

November 8, 2020

November 8, 2020

Godfrey Santos Plata is the first out gay immigrant ever to run for California State Assembly for Assembly District 53. ...