Making Gay History | LGBTQ Oral Histories from the Archive
Making Gay History | LGBTQ Oral Histories from the Archive
Eric Marcus
Intimate, personal portraits of both known and long-forgotten champions, heroes, and witnesses to history brought to you from rare archival interviews.
Guest Episode: Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows: Mourning in America
Valerie Reyes-Jimenez called it “The Monster.” That’s how some people described HIV and AIDS in the 1980s. Valerie thinks as many as 75 people from her block on New York City’s Lower East Side died. They were succumbing to an illness that was not recognized as the same virus that was killing young, white, gay men just across town in the West Village. At the same time, in Washington, D.C., Gil Gerald, a Black LGBTQ+ activist, saw his own friends and colleagues begin to disappear, dying out of sight and largely ignored by the wider world. In this guest episode from WNYC Studios’ new Blindspot series, hear how HIV and AIDS was misunderstood from the start—and how this would shape the reactions of governments, the medical establishment, and numerous communities for years to come.  Listen and subscribe to the rest of the series here. ——— To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 15
36 min
Dismantling a Diagnosis: Episode 3: Out of the DSM & into the Present — A Conversation about LGBTQ+ Mental Health
Eric is joined in conversation by Dr. Laura Erickson-Schroth and Dr. Ilan H. Meyer to delve into the past and present of mental health for LGBTQ people.  They discuss historical stigma, the ramifications of the American Psychiatric Association’s declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder 50 years ago, and shifting psychiatric understandings of LGBTQ mental health in relation to societal pressures and prejudice. They also explore the continued pathologization of trans people, and the barriers that exist to finding accessible, safe, and informed care.  The MGH episode about Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld mentioned in the episode can be found here. Visit our episode webpage for additional resources and a transcript of the episode. For exclusive Making Gay History bonus content, join our Patreon community. ——— To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 28, 2023
50 min
Dismantling a Diagnosis: Episode 2: The Cure
A half-century ago, millions of homosexuals were cured with the stroke of a pen when the American Psychiatric Association decided to change its diagnostic manual and remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders.  In this episode, we journey through several milestones in the battle for gay liberation and acceptance as we focus on how the field of psychiatry defined, and distorted, what it meant to be homosexual. Homosexuality was officially classified as a mental disorder in the 1952 edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, but the narrative that equated being gay with being mentally ill had been emerging for decades. The nascent gay rights movement in the 1950s was caught between believing the sickness narrative and seeking treatment, and questioning the diagnosis and using their own voices to fight back. A groundbreaking 1956 study by psychologist Dr. Evelyn Hooker debunked the notion that gay men were, by default, mentally ill, and even though societal pressures dissuaded Dr. Hooker from extending her study to lesbians, her research gave activists a foundation to advance the discourse. The years that followed brought continued campaigning by gay activists, and with the help of enlightened psychiatrists who became allies and closeted gay psychiatrists who had the courage to speak out, 1973 brought victory. The APA overturned its classification, effectively “curing” millions of homosexuals overnight. Visit our episode webpage for additional resources and a transcript of the episode. For exclusive Making Gay History bonus content, join our Patreon community. ——— To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 22, 2023
48 min
Dismantling a Diagnosis: Episode 1: A Kind of Madness
In the 1950s, psychiatrists diagnosed all homosexuals with a mental illness, and the sickness label created new forms of oppression for gay people in America. The sickness label was pervasive and seemingly inescapable. Until 1973, according to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the DSM), homosexuality was a mental disorder. In this first episode of Making Gay History’s “Dismantling a Diagnosis” miniseries, you’ll hear testimony from Eric Marcus’s archive describing this dangerous diagnosis and how the label affected the lives of LGBTQ people in the 1940s, ’50s and '60s. We also explore the crucial role of psychiatric pseudoscience in propagating misinformation about homosexuality. And through first-hand accounts recorded decades ago, you’ll hear from gay men and lesbians who were subjected to therapies or treatments aimed at “curing” their homosexuality. In the words of activist Morris Kight, “Imagine trying to burn out of your brain your love.” Visit our episode webpage for additional resources and a transcript of the episode. For exclusive Making Gay History bonus content, join our Patreon community. ——— To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 14, 2023
27 min
Coming of Age During the 1970s: Chapter 6: Marching On
In 1978 Harvey Milk calls on gay people to gather in D.C. the next year to protest the anti-gay campaigns of Anita Bryant and her ilk. Organizers are stymied by internal conflicts until Milk’s assassination galvanizes them and a date for a national march is set. But will anyone show up? Visit our episode webpage for additional resources, archival photos, and a transcript of the episode. For exclusive Making Gay History bonus content, join our Patreon community. ——— To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 29, 2023
1 hr 1 min
Coming of Age During the 1970s: Chapter 5: Thank You, Anita
Eric gets an A on his freshman sociology paper, “Marginal Man: The Alcoholic and the Homosexual.” But his sunny predictions for the future of the gay rights movement are met with skepticism from his professor. Mere weeks later, Anita Bryant launches her anti-gay “Save Our Children” campaign. Visit our episode webpage for additional resources, archival photos, and a transcript of the episode. For exclusive Making Gay History bonus content, join our Patreon community. ——— To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jun 8, 2023
53 min
Coming of Age During the 1970s: Chapter 4: Respectable
Gay rights activists in NYC are first out of the gate to propose anti-discrimination legislation, confident it will sail through the City Council. Instead, they hit a wall of ignorance and bigotry. Meanwhile, 15-year-old Eric happens upon some revelatory literature in his dentist’s waiting room. Visit our episode webpage for additional resources, archival photos, and a transcript of the episode. For exclusive Making Gay History bonus content, join our Patreon community. ——— To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 25, 2023
50 min
Coming of Age During the 1970s: Chapter 3: Family Ties
When Jeanne Manford’s gay son is badly beaten at a 1972 GAA protest, the shy elementary school teacher takes a stand. She cofounds the organization now known as PFLAG and launches a movement that harnesses the strength of our fiercest allies: parents and the other people who love us. Visit our episode webpage for additional resources, archival photos, and a transcript of the episode. For exclusive Making Gay History bonus content, join our Patreon community. ——— To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 11, 2023
50 min
Coming of Age During the 1970s: Chapter 2: Fire Island and Other Stories
While activists are demonstrating, filing lawsuits, and pushing for anti-discrimination laws, 16-year-old Eric is on a ferry to Fire Island, a legendary gay refuge off Long Island, with his neighbor Rev. Mullen—a trip that would introduce him to a vivid slice of mid-1970s gay life, ready or not. Visit our episode webpage for additional resources, archival photos, and a transcript of the episode. For exclusive Making Gay History bonus content, join our Patreon community. ——— To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 27, 2023
49 min
Coming of Age During the 1970s: Chapter 1: A Surge of Energy
The Stonewall uprising ignites an explosion of protests and organizing that transforms a small, often tentative homophile movement into a newly assertive national force that demands gay liberation and equality. In a Puerto Rico hotel pool, 12-year-old Eric experiences a transformation of his own. Visit our episode webpage for additional resources, archival photos, and a transcript of the episode. For exclusive Making Gay History bonus content, join our Patreon community. Episode art photo: Gay Liberation Front Poster Image (1970) by Peter Hujar. Credit: © 2023 The Peter Hujar Archive / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. ——— To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 13, 2023
31 min
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