Director: Patrick Sammon & Bennett Singer
2020 | USA | 82m
GENRE: Activism | Biography/History | Gay | Lesbian | Mental Health
SECTION: Documentary Features
Expected Guests: Features Q&A with director Bennett Singer, director Patrick Sammon, subject Rev. Magora Kennedy, and subject Gary Alinder; moderated by Steven Canals, co-creator of POSE.


For most of the 20th century, being homosexual in America meant you could be clinically diagnosed as mentally ill and subject to drastic medical interventions posing as “cures.” But in 1973, in one of the most significant turning points in LGBTQ+ history, the American Psychiatric Association removed the stigma of mental illness from its medical manuals.

This riveting documentary goes behind the scenes to reveal the inspiring, courageous efforts of the scrappy band of gay and lesbian activists in the 1960s-70s, from both outside and within the psychiatric field, who took on the medical establishment’s views about homosexuality. It was a David-vs.-Goliath battle, as activists like Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings insisted that gay people themselves, not doctors, were the best experts on their own lives. Bennett Singer (Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, Frameline27) and Patrick Sammon (executive producer of Codebreaker, Frameline37) marshal fascinating archival material and eyewitness testimony to recount the hard-won struggle for basic rights that continues today, as “conversion therapy” remains legal in many states.


This film contains archival imagery of medical procedures that some viewers may find disturbing.

Buying Note: This digital screening is available to view between 12:01am Thursday, September 17 and 11:59pm Sunday, September 27. We suggest watching it at 1:00pm Sunday, September 27 followed by the Q&A.

Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Born Perfect, GLBT Historical Society