July 30, 2017

Manchester Pioneered "Gay Aversion Therapy" in 1964


 S u n d a y * E d i t i o n๐Ÿ˜Ž๐ŸŒป
   

As I checked yesterday numerous stories on Great Britain to publish today, one in particular caught my attention because it talked about the introduction of the Gay changing Therapy. The scientific community and most people that know themselves know that being gay is not something you can change. You can mitigated it, lie about it, hide it (favorite way) but not erradicate it like a disease becuse it is not a disease. It is part of the human phyche of how we see things and our selves. How some others of the same sex can attract us both sexually and spiritually to the point we would be willing to give our lives for them. It has never been easy having to be gay, lesbian (LGBT) not even today when research has thrown out the garbadge clains that prayer, exorcism, etc.,  can change it.  Some still try. Referring to this and idiotic things people do my ex used to say "a brain is a terible thing to have." Sometimes I think he was right, at least for some.

Chris Osuh of the Manchester Evening News writes the following essay/news article on how it was right in Manchester that damaging technique commenced (sexual changing therapy). It had been done before by the army and secret services with bad results but never was it put out for the general public as a teatment until 1964. Doctors began using drugs (which today belong to the categories we jail people for smugling and using) together with mechanical apparatus to try and change a person's sexual orientation. Some of the must ardent proponents and volunteers (paying volunteers, it was not free) were Homosexuals. This was done at a clinic or hospital for anyone that could afford the treatmens. "I will do no harm" is the most important part of Doctors taking the hyppocratic oath. This doctors there forgot abou that becuse it had to be obvious they were harming people and the medical goal was not being accomplished.  Adam Gonzalez


Today in this same city of Manchester the Police joins the Pride March


In 1964 a generous donation was received by Crumpsall Hospital. The sum of £7,000, worth over £130,000 in today’s money, from an anonymous source.
The cash was intended for a specific purpose; Crumpsall was to establish a research department in a pioneering field. Thousands of people were desperate for a cure for what was then a shameful and hidden affliction, but Crumpsall could offer them hope. 
And so, Britain’s first research unit for the ‘treatment of homosexuality’ came to be. ‘Treatment’ involved men being electrocuted and drugged with potent purgatives, while images of other men flickered at the ‘patient’.
Back then, homosexuality was lumped in with a number of other unwanted tendencies, from nail-biting to alcoholism, for which aversion therapy was supposed to be a panacea. Seven years after Crumpsall’s research department was set up, cinemagoers were introduced to the horrors of aversion therapy by the movie A Clockwork Orange.
Actor Malcolm McDowell’s character, who was being treated for his violent behaviour, appeared straitjacketed, electrodes attached to his head, injected with nausea-inducing substances and bombarded with violent imagery, as Harpurhey -born author Anthony Burgess’s novel hit the big screen. 



The infamous scene was all too real to gay men who had experienced Crumpsall’s pseudo-scientific treatment. By the time that film was released, in 1971, it was a few years after parliament had decriminalised homosexual acts - in private, between consenting males over 21 - but gay life was still largely lived in the shadows, and still something people sought gruelling ‘treatment’ for.
Broadcaster Pete Price vividly recalls aversion therapy, and the hypocrisy surrounding it. “It was 72 hours...I went through hell and back”, he says. “I then went to a gay club in Manchester called the Rockingham and there was the psychiatrist who put me through that torture. So the man who tortured me was a gay man! I tried to kill him. I actually tried to kill him and I’m not physically violent. The day after that I went ‘enough is enough’, that’s when I had acceptance. It did me a lot of damage what they did to me, but I have acceptance.”
Exactly 50 years on from decriminalisation and things are thankfully different, mostly.
Where once the police sought to entrap, harass and criminalise gay people, now officers dance proudly on floats at Pride , and raise the trans flag from headquarters. Those things would once have been unthinkable.  Bringing about change involved years of struggle and bravery - it brought a community from enforced self-loathing and shame to solidarity and pride. And Greater Manchester, in keeping with its rich history of social justice and urban nerve, has been the scene of many gay milestones.
In November 1999, a 90-year-man suffered a heart attack on the sofa of a friend’s house. An ambulance arrived at the property, at Claude Road, Chorlton, to take him to Manchester Royal Infirmary. But there was nothing doctors could do, and he was pronounced dead.
Soon afterwards he was buried at Southern Cemetery. There were only six guests. So ended the fabulous, and often not-so-fabulous, life of memoirist and raconteur Quentin Crisp, a man famous - and infamous - for refusing to hide who he was. ‘Quentin Crisp was no gay rights hero’, civil rights campaigner Peter Tatchell wrote in a 2009 piece for Pink News, which criticised Crisp for being a ‘homophobe and reactionary’.
Tatchell met the writer once in 1974, a time when the younger man was wearing a gay liberation badge, and recalls the writer telling him: “What do you want liberation from? What is there to be proud of? I don’t believe in rights for homosexuals.”
“He never spoke out for gay rights or supported any gay equality cause...the true icons and pioneers of the modern British gay community are heroes like Allan Horsfall and Antony Grey”, Tatchell wrote.
The late Allan Horsfall was not a flamboyant man. He spent much of his life living in Bolton with his partner, and looked rather like the clerk at Salford Education Committee, the bus enthusiast, that he actually was. But he was anything but quiet. He was a fearless campaigner, and a founding father of the British gay rights movement.
The good burghers of Nelson must have got quite a shock when, while serving as a councillor in 1960, Horsfall called on the local Labour Party to support the decriminalisation of homosexuality. The motion he tabled never got passed, but Horsfall was resolute. By 1964, while living in Atherton, he founded the North West Committee for Homosexual Law Reform. In time, the group would evolve into the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, which did a huge amount to change the nation’s mentality.
Wilmslow-born Antony Grey, the other activist venerated by Tatchell, began campaigning for gay rights in 1954, the year three prominent men - Lord Montagu, Michael Pitt-Rivers and Peter Wildeblood - were convicted and jailed for homosexual offences.
The resulting backlash led to the setting up of the Wolfenden Committee, comprised of 15 of the great and good, whose report would recommend, in 1957, that homosexual acts between consenting adults in private be decriminalised. The Homosexual Law Reform Society was founded by prominent heterosexual liberals, and with them, Grey would campaign tirelessly for the recommendations in the Wolfenden Report to become law. Ten years later they did.
Reform came too late for men like Alan Turing, who, two years before Grey penned his first letter to the Sunday Times, was compelled to undergo chemical castration. Months earlier, Turing - quiet heroic wartime codebreaker, father of modern computing - had met a younger man outside the Regal Cinema, now the Dancehouse Theatre at Oxford Road, and invited him back to his house in Wilmslow.
An investigation into a subsequent burglary at Turing’s home - with the young man being the culprit - led to Turing admitting having had a sexual relationship with him. Both men would be prosecuted for gross indecency and convicted. Turing was offered the choice between prison, or probation with ‘treatment’. After a course of oestrogen injections, which caused impotency and the growth of breast tissue, Turing took his own life with a poisoned apple.
Allan Horsfall knew the toll that social isolation took on the gay community, and sought to combat it by establishing gay social clubs across the country. He applied, unsuccessfully, to open one such ‘Esquire Club’ in Swinton precinct.
The Rockingham, the Queen Street club where Pete Price bumped into his psychiatrist after his ‘treatment’, was one of the gay venues where Allan Horsfall went to recruit activists. In a era before websites, telephone helplines and frank television dramas like Queer as Folk, there were few venues where gay people could learn they weren’t alone. Manchester’s gay pubs, bars and parties, hidden in plain sight, were seminal.

Even in the 19th century, gay men from across the north were coming to Manchester to associate; the bustly, smoky city offered a freedom, if you were discreet, that was impossible in smaller towns.
In 1880 the Temperance Hall in Hulme was rented for an event, ostensibly organised by the Manchester Pawnbrokers’ Association. To ensure the function’s discretion the hosts had hired an accordionist who was blind and covered the windows with black paper.
The cloak and dagger approach was necessary. The party that was going on behind the blacked-out windows was an affront to the codes of Victorian England. Being gay was not only a crime in law - it was a crime for which, some 74 years earlier, Manchester artisan Thomas Rix had been hung for, publicly, at Lancaster Castle.
It was also a crime that Manchester’s most famous detective, Jerome Caminada, was determined to avert. Having been tipped off that all was not as it seemed at Temperance Hall, he assembled a squad of constables and volunteers and climbed over a roof so he could see inside. One can imagine the detective’s moustaches twitching as he looked down on people dancing the can-can, as a couple dressed as Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn took in the scene. Everyone in the room was male. Caminada gained entry by giving the password ‘sister’ to a bouncer - who was dressed as a nun - before his team hauled 38 revellers off. The men, most of whom were from Sheffield and were largely from middle class backgrounds, would escape with the most minor of punishments - a bind-over - but the event made the papers. The sentencing magistrate had lamented that such ‘vice’ was ‘practiced and solicited’ not in ‘Turkey or Bulgaria’, but in Manchester.
Almost 100 years after the raid at Temperance Hall, police entered a gay bar at Bloom Street in the city centre, and warned the manager that he was allowing ‘licentious dancing’ on the premises. Activists believed the then Chief Constable James Anderton was trying to crack down on gay life in a moral crusade.
It wasn’t an unjustified suspicion - Anderton was known for his outspoken social conservatism, which extended to much condemned remarks about people with HIV and AIDS. But at Napoleons, the venue where his officers tried to stop the dancing in 1978, the music plays on. Once owned by legendary drag performer Frank ‘Foo Foo’ Lammar, it’s believed to be the oldest surviving gay nightclub in Manchester. It’s at the heart of the area, which, because of the quiet and anonymity offered by the canal and the backstreets, has been a gay area since at least the fifties, and finally became recognised as the Gay Village in the nineties, after Anderton’s retirement.
Napoleons’ co-owner, Anne Taylor, has watched attitudes change over the years
“It’s far better for everybody, you don’t have to hide anymore”, she told the M.E.N. “It’s great that people can go anywhere and hardly anyone bats an eyelid.
“We have a lot of transgender people who come in and say to us ‘I was born here’. For lots and lots of people it was where they could come and knew it was going to be safe. If you come here, you come to respect the place and the people in it, it’s as simple as that. That’s our motto.” The transgender women and men, gay men, crossdressing men, bisexuals, lesbians and straights who frequent Manchester’s Gay Village inherit an LGBT movement forged through the activism of people like Allan Horsfall, through the painful life histories of men like Alan Turing, and through the decisions of men and women, in more conservative times, to live as they were born.
And, apart from the bravery and defiance of Manchester’s ordinary gay men and women through the ages, the city can legitimately claim it played a role in the intellectual foundation of the modern LGBTQ movement, just as it played key roles in the development of the labour movement, the abolitionist movement, and in the fight for women’s suffrage. In 1896, Esther Roper, one of the first women to study at Owen’s College - now the University of Manchester, moved in with her partner, the aristocratic poet Eva Gore-Booth, to a terraced house at Heald Place in Rusholme.
After cutting their teeth with feminist causes in Manchester, they founded Urania, a privately-circulated journal which completely rejected conventional notions of gender, sexuality and marriage, and was edited by a transwoman called Irene Clyde.
In an ironic twist, given the history of the gay community’s relationship with the authorities, Manchester can legitimately claim that the first female police officer in the city was LGBT.
Henry Stokes, born Harriet, lived for 28 years as husband to Ann at Cumberland Street in the city, and worked as a bricklayer and volunteer copper. But the pair fell out over housekeeping money, a solicitor got involved, it emerged Ann had accused Henry of being a woman, and in 1838 an examination at the station confirmed Henry had indeed been born a Harriet. Such fascinating histories, some hidden for many years, show how people defied their times before the 1967 change in the law and the plural society it heralded. The law change did not, in the stroke of a pen, liberate gay people from fear of prosecution, persecution, and ostracisation. It took the efforts of many more - many of whom remain unsung, to bring British society to where it is.
The campaigners who opened the first UK’s first gay centre at Waterloo Place in Chorlton-on-Medlock, the tens of thousands who protested against Section 28 in the city, the councillors and council workers who fought for Manchester to have a gay quarter and ensured funding for minorities, the volunteers and activists who set up switchboards and support groups, the actors, performers, writers and clubbers, the multitudes who defied their times, quietly, or at the top of their voices. They have had a long and hard journey, and it hasn’t ended yet.
But now, fifty years on from that totemic change in the law, Manchester can be rightly proud of all of them.

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