The History of LGBTQ Conversion Therapy

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In 1965, TIME magazine published an article titled “Homosexuals Can Be Cured.” The article focused on the “triumphant” results of group therapy work led by psychiatrist Samuel Hadden, who was also a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School at the time. Hadden had been leading long-term (four to eight year) therapy sessions for men who identified as homosexual in the hopes of “curing” them of their sexual “perversions.”

TIME’s article celebrated Hadden’s ability to help men work through their “symptoms” of “illness”—whether that was wearing inappropriately feminine clothing or being sexually interested in men instead of women. Hadden was only one of many esteemed psychiatrists and psychologists to consider — and treat — homosexuality as a sickness during the 1960s. In fact, homosexuality was not removed from the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” [DSM] until 1973.

The pathologizing of homosexuality was not, however, contextually specific to 20th century America. Many of the earliest writings condemning homosexual acts as “unnatural” caught on in 12th century Europe, when religious leaders like Saint Thomas Aquinas denounced homosexuality as a sin in their early writings. Popular disdain against homosexuality, began in the realm of religion, but it quickly moved into the legal arena in centuries to come. Continue reading The History of LGBTQ Conversion Therapy

The Stigma of Asking for a Mental Health Day

In an ideal world, taking a mental health day would be simple. Imagine this: You could have 10 per year and use them at your discretion. Or maybe you work at a small company that doesn’t have a formal system for taking time off. In that case it should be as straightforward as talking to your supervisor about why you need one.

You tell your supervisor your depression is acting up. Perhaps your anxiety disorder has been eating you alive lately. Your strained mental health is affecting your productivity, so you need a day off to tend to it, to heal and return with renewed vigor.

She says, “Sure.” There are no questions or judgments, and she is comfortable with you being open about your mental health. She understands the importance of caring for your mental wellness and trusts you are not taking advantage of the policy. Continue reading The Stigma of Asking for a Mental Health Day

6 Ways to Support a Transgender or Gender Nonconforming Person

6 Ways to Support a Transgender or Gender Nonconforming Person

It is revolutionary for any trans (transgender) person to choose to be seen and visible in a world that tells us we should not exist. ~ Laverne Cox

Over the past couple of years the transgender community has gained a higher level of mainstream exposure. This is in part thanks to the transgender men and women who helped fight for equality at New York City’s Stonewall Inn riots back in the1960s. They, among many other social influencers, paved the way into popular culture for transgender individuals like Cher’s son Chaz Bono, Laverne Cox on the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black, as well as activists and authors like Janet Mock, who released last year’s Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More. Continue reading 6 Ways to Support a Transgender or Gender Nonconforming Person

Talkspace Takes Over the Northside Festival and Philly Pride

Talkspace Takes Over the Northside Festival and Philly Pride

As temperatures continue to rise, so does the excitement at Talkspace headquarters!

The second week of June proved to be a really busy one for Talkspace. Not only did we spend two days hanging out at Brooklyn’s Northside Festival, we also managed to make our way to Philly Pride, supporting the LGBTQ community in the city of love!

Continue reading Talkspace Takes Over the Northside Festival and Philly Pride

Living Life on the Margins Within LGB Populations: Consequences of Within Group Oppression on Emotional Wellness

Living Life on the Margins Within LGB Populations

Those of us who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) are often viewed as marginalized because we are not part of the dominant sexual orientation culture, which is heterosexuality.

Though in recent years, with an ever growing presence of lesbian and gay pop culture celebrities (ex: Ellen DeGeneres), characters on TV (ex: Modern Family), as well as growing public and government support for same sex marriage, it seems the margins are getting smaller–at least for some. Still, there are challenges certain sub-populations of LGB communities face when it comes to experiencing oppression inside of a marginalized community. Continue reading Living Life on the Margins Within LGB Populations: Consequences of Within Group Oppression on Emotional Wellness

Identity and Expression: What Does Gender Got to Do With It?

What Does Gender Got to Do With It?

“There is no gender identity behind the expressions of gender… identity is performatively constituted by the very ‘expressions’ that are said to be its results.” – Judith Butler

– by Liz Campese / Journalist and Talkspace Staff Writer

As you’ve probably already heard, Caitlyn Jenner unveiled her true self to the world this week. And although it’s hard to know for sure if societal pressure to adhere to gender expectations was the main reason she kept her identity a secret for as long as she did, I know it doesn’t have to be this way. Continue reading Identity and Expression: What Does Gender Got to Do With It?