May Day Challenge – May 17th

MDBC2016My friend and I got involved in the April A-Z blogging challenge and it motivated us to post 26 blogs. Now we find ourselves on April 30th worried all of that momentum will go to waste. But fear not, we came up with a great idea, the May Day Blogging Challenge. Check the previous post for details.

Who Cares Who Loves Who

One thing I have noticed throughout this challenge is the striking amount of coincidences. Yesterday, I wrote about several firsts among females in the military and politics, and on previous days, I noticed other similarities between reported events. I have a feeling the phenomenon probably originates with the source of the entries on each day. In other words, someone, somewhere is researching daily historical events and compiling lists. It would stand to reason that there may arise a pattern in the information, as if there may have been a desire to focus on certain topics. Or not. Who knows?

Regardless today presents me with two events that have an interesting connection.

May 17, 1990 – The General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) eliminates homosexuality from the list of psychiatric diseases.

I just recently watched the movie The Danish Girl, set in 1926, and was horrified to see the common practice of declaring homosexuals insane, committing them to institutions, and the even more ghoulish use of lobotomy as a “cure”. But while those historical occurrences were shocking for the era, I have to admit I was even more surprised to learn it took the WHO until 1990 to update its publication, leaving homosexuality on a list with conditions such as psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other serious mental illnesses almost into the advent of a new millennium.

However, I was then pleased to see that on May 17, 2004, the first legal same-sex marriages in the U.S. were performed in the state of Massachusetts.

I couldn’t find the exact date when the original psychiatric diseases list was first published by the WHO, but research leads me to believe it was some time in the early 1900’s. That means it took well over ninety years for homosexuality to shed the publicly mandated stigma of mental illness, which is ludicrous, but on the bright side, it only took fourteen more years for the same “condition” to be recognized as not only legal but equal.

Coincidence? Maybe, but who cares?


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