Film. Directed by Patrick Sammon and Bennett Singer. 2020. 82 minutes (or 37 minute classroom version).
This documentary focuses on the successful campaign to remove the diagnosis of homosexuality from the APA manual of mental illnesses, an important yet mainly overlooked part of the struggle for LGBTQ rights.

Time Periods: 1961
Themes: Laws & Citizen Rights, LGBTQ, Organizing

Protester in bright colored shirt holding up microphone, with the overlayed words: "Cured: The Remedy was Rebellion."Following the Stonewall Rebellion of 1969, a key LGBTQ+ rights struggle was the campaign to remove the classification of homosexuality as a mental illness from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) manual of mental disorders.

The APA designation of being gay as an illness had ramifications for every aspect of gay people’s lives — including employment, health care, legal rights, family, education, and overall human rights. It even hampered people’s ability to organize to change the designation since the credibility of LGBTQ+ people was questioned and their ability to meet publicly was limited. This makes the campaign to remove the diagnosis of homosexuality from the APA manual even more extraordinary, as the award-winning PBS film Cured so aptly documents.

In fact, the film can be used as a primer on how to organize in the face of repression, using a wide range of tactics. Cured is highly recommended for courses on 20th-century U.S. history, psychology, social movements, and LGBTQ+ history.

To increase accessibility for classroom use, the filmmakers created a 37-minute version. [Description by Rethinking Schools.]


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