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Abstract

While homosexuals have historically experienced many different forms and types of intolerance, perhaps some of the most harmful discrimination in recent decades can be said to have come from mental health and medical professionals. These professionals have labeled homosexuals as abnormal, pathological, and deviant. In the 1950s, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) made this discrimination against homosexuals official when it classified homosexuality as a mental disorder. this label had a huge impact on the homosexual community, which was just then beginning its fight for acceptance in mainstream society. thus the fight for the reversal of the APA diagnosis became a focus of the gay rights movement. Although it would take over two decades, the APA eventually made the decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders and began to move toward the acceptance of homosexuality as normal behavior. this paper will examine the history of how homosexuality has been viewed throughout the history of psychology, focusing on early research as well as the events that led up to the APA's eventual decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.

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