Thomas Coy would like people to believe that homosexualituy and gender dysphoria were removed from the DSM because of pressure

The truth is that LGBTQ people became empowered by medical science. People increasingly understand that neither sexual orientation nor gender identity are choices.

I cannot determine who Thomas Coy is. Thursday, coy offers: The LGBT movement’s destructive history and legacy. Coy’s subtitle reads:

To understand what is happening now, it is helpful to understand how the LGBT movement got so powerful.

Mr. Coy is dismayed that LGBTQ people do not want to be discriminated against. Imagine that. Wading into some of the BS:

An absolute truth is that homosexuality was removed from the DSM due to the evidence-based science.

The birth of LGBT power of intimidation came in the early 1970s when gay activists harassed psychiatrists and protested the American Psychiatric Association’s classification of homosexuality as a disorder. Gay activists soon partnered with liberal psychiatrists to take over the leadership of the American Psychiatric Association, and in 1973 homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).[1] The removal of homosexuality from the DSM was not based on clinical science, but rather on political pressure from gay activists.[2] The vast majority of psychiatrists still saw homosexuality as a disorder or a symptom of a disorder, but only a few were willing to go toe to toe with the gay activists.[3] As a result, the LGBT bully was born and impowered [sic].

What follows is the applicable history:

To be fair, the gay community most certainly prodded the APA to re-evaluate its position but the road to declassification from a disorder was long and arduous and not all of the gay community was on board. Some were still insistent on finding a cure for something that they could not accept. A re-evaluation meant an examination of evidence; not an examination of social issues.

A faction of the gay community was concerned that the diagnosis of homosexuality stigmatized gay people. Members disrupted APA meetings in 1970 and 1971. At the risk of repeating myself, the APA might have been motivated by the stigma argument to explore the issue but whether or not homosexuality is a psychiatric disorder was determined by disinterested science.

Much of the thought about homosexuality in the mid 20th century (after Freud’s death) was due to the theories of Dr. Sandor Rado. It became generally accepted that homosexuality was a disease and that it could be cured. According to the first edition of the DSM, homosexuality was a “sociopathic personality disturbance.”

At this time it was believed that homosexuality was extremely rare. This was doubtlessly due to the fact that the only gay people who were exposed to the psychiatric community were those seeking treatment for their sexual orientation. Most were afraid to even do that.

As far back as 1951 scientists determined that homosexuality exists in nature.

Alfred Kinsey came along and he sampled thousands of people who were not in treatment. Kinsey reported that 10% of the population is gay causing a major disturbance to the psychiatric establishment (current estimates are about 4%).

In 1951, Drs. Clellan Ford and Frank Beach published their research as Patterns of Sexual Behavior. It was an extensive study of many cultures as well as the animal kingdom. Ford and Beach confirmed that homosexuality was far more prevalent than previously thought and that it existed in nature. Kinsey might have been wrong in his estimate but he was right about homosexuality being far more prevalent than the psychiatric establishment understood.

In 1957, Dr. Evelyn Hooker published “The adjustment of the male overt homosexual.” Hooker compared, through psychological testing, a group of gays who were not psychiatric patients with a comparable group of heterosexuals. She determined that the gays were no more psychologically disturbed than the control group of heterosexuals. The prevailing belief among psychologists was that gay people were severely psychologically disturbed. So, 16 years prior to removing homosexuality from the DSM psychologists had evidence that gay people were not emotionally ill.

American psychiatry had an obvious vested interest in maintaining that homosexuality was a curable disease and they were extremely resistant, even hostile, to mounting evidence to the contrary. The APA membership was getting younger and less rigid. The gay community certainly got the APA’s attention. Getting their attention and causing an esteemed professional group take actions contrary to their economic interests are two different things.

A symposium was held in 1973. The objective was to determine whether or not homosexuality was a psychiatric disorder. Both sides were represented. Dr. Robert Spitzer (later notorious for his flawed conversion therapy study which was eventually withdrawn) was the chair of one of the sub-committees. After careful analysis of numerous psychiatric disorders he concluded that disorders cause considerable distress and some degree of impairment. Homosexuality did not create distress.

Of course, gay people were victims of minority stress. Minority stress is induced from the outside. The distress created by real disorders comes from within.

Spitzer’s work eventually made its way through various sub-committees. In 1973 the board of trustees of the APA removed homosexuality from the DSM. But that was not the end of the story. Psychoanalysts petitioned the APA board of trustees to put the matter to a referendum. In the end nearly 60% of the membership upheld the decision made by the trustees.

Mr. Coy posits: “The vast majority of psychiatrists still saw homosexuality as a disorder or a symptom of a disorder.” Given that 60% of the membership supported the fact that homosexuality is not a disorder, we can reasonably conclude that Thomas Coy is full of shit.

The determination was based exclusively on the science. Furthermore, it might have dawned on many of the shrinks that they were not curing anyone. Not really.

The APA was not pressured into political correctness. The pathology argument began to unravel in the 1950s. The gay community got the attention of the APA but the APA made its decision based on the science which means based on evidence. The issue was studied through the lens of objective scientific research.

Coy’s bullshit continues:

Liberal leaders of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association gradually allowed their homosexual members to control the dialogue on homosexuality. LGB (no T yet) divisions and sub-associations were created within these two APAs, and the APAs became extensions of the LGB movement.[4] As a result, fifty years of clinical science on the causation and treatment of homosexuality were systematically removed from treatment manuals and textbooks.[5] Gay activists and their allies continued their attacks on psychiatrists and psychologists who publicly disagreed with the non-disorder classification.[6] Within a short span of years, the APAs’ support for objective clinical science on homosexuality became a thing of the past.

Again, I have stated the facts. The above is conservative Christian mythology. It is similar to the vacuous arguments made by Peter LaBarbera a couple of years ago.

“Thomas Coy’s views are shaped by the desire for Christian supremacy bolstered by Christian privilege.”

The religious set proposes a contradiction. They claim that a sexual orientation they disapprove of is a disorder. They also claim that it is a choice. A disorder cannot possibly be a choice. The logical fallacy never dawns on the perpetually pious.

Religious conservatives are determined to support the supposed effectiveness of conversion therapy as a pretext for discrimination. They always claim that science is on their side yet they are never able to cite peer-reviewed research published to a reputable academic journal.

Indeed, Coy provides 22 endnotes. None of them cite any research to support his contention that the sexuality he disapproves of is a psychiatric disorder. In fact, he cites no peer-reviewed research whatsoever.

Thomas Coy is also very sloppy. He attributes the APA’s definition of gender dysphoria to “J. Turbin.” There is a large block on the page indicating that Jack Turban (with an “a” in his last name; not “i”) was the reviewer, not the author.

This gibberish goes on at considerable length: LGBTQ activists are evil and Christians are victims.

Eventually Mr. Coy gets to transgender people. After misquoting a section of the DSM; presumably relying on someone else’s blog post (I have an actual copy of DSM V) and some lengthy drivel we get to this:

In plain language, the APAs are telling us the transgender person who fully believes they are the opposite biological sex doesn’t have a mental disorder. Only a transgender person who thinks he/she may have a problem or is unable to successfully play the part of the opposite gender is considered to have a mental health disorder. The same type of classification change took place when the American Psychiatric Association normalized homosexuality.

Incongruent gender identity is not based on a false belief. Science has determined that gender identity is a construct that is apart from natal sex. Moreover, according to the Endocrine Society:

Scientific evidence shows that there is a durable biological underpinning to our gender identity, and external forces have little impact on that identity.

Thomas Coy seems obsessed over LGBTQ people. We are informed that his 2012 master’s thesis was titled, “The Professional Division Over the Treatment of Homosexuality and How It Has Been Influenced by the Gay Political Movement.” I found a copy online if you care to read a 462 page diatribe.

Coy’s intent is not to prove that sexuality he disapproves of is really a psychiatric disorder. Rather, he is trying to demonstrate that the American Psychiatric Association is responsible for enormous negative consequences.

Of course, none of this would exist in the absence of the determination of LGBTQ people to enjoy equal protection and due process. Mr. Coy’s religious beliefs are a choice while sexual orientation and gender identity are not choices.

Therefore, it is my opinion that Thomas Coy’s views are shaped by the desire for Christian supremacy bolstered by Christian privilege.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.