in ‘Curing queers’
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The American Psychiatric Association's (APA) 1974 decision to remove homosexuality from its Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM), along with social protests and a newly emerged gay liberation movement, eventually led to the curtailment of medical treatments to cure homosexuality. Before the term 'AIDS' was first coined in 1982, it had been labelled 'Gay Cancer' or Gay-related immune deficiency (GRID), and there was a strong sense that the condition was associated with sexual identity rather than sexual practice. The media were shaping a lot of public perception regarding the epidemic, and headlines such 'Gay Plague' characterised gay men as plague bearers who were highly contagious. Gay men were also gaining a higher profile in the arts and media by the late 1980s, with Sir Ian McKellen sensationally 'coming out' during a radio debate.

‘Curing queers’

Mental nurses and their patients, 1935–74


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