A space for sharing stories, ideas, and concerns for the SUNY LGBTQ2AI community.

Richard Socarides Recalls Coming Out To His Dad, One of the Founders of Conversion Therapy

“While everyone’s coming out story is different, Richard Socarides’ might be one of the most unique. Richard, who served as President Clinton’s senior adviser on gay rights, explains his coming out experience in his twenties:

“[My father] was the founder, or one of the founders, of the school of psychiatry that believed homosexuality was a mental illness and that it could be cured through psychotherapy. … [H]is idea was they should be treated like any other neurotic. Couple of trips to a therapist and it should be just fine.

“Dr. Charles Socarides didn’t just believe that homosexuality could be cured; he was one of the most sought-after therapists for people who wanted to become straight. And for Richard, that hit a little too close to home:

We lived on the Upper East Side on 78th Street in a townhouse and his office was downstairs. So on the top level there was this kid coming out, and on this bottom level there were these people going to be cured of their homosexuality.”

Read More and watch the video: Richard Socarides


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This entry was posted on September 15, 2015 by in CULTURE MATTERS: ART and tagged , .
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