A Woman to Know: Evelyn Hooker

They are both men and women for whom my little bit of work, and my caring enough to do it, has made an enormous difference in their lives. — Evelyn Hooker

(image via UC-Davis)

Evelyn Hooker's research disproved the idea that homosexuality was a mental illness. This quote says it all:

What means most to me, I think, is… um, excuse me while I cry… If I went to a gathering of some kind, gay gathering of some kind, I was sure to have at least one person come up to me and say, “I’ve wanted to meet you because I wanted to tell you what you saved me from.” I’m thinking of a woman, a young woman, who came up to me in a meeting and said that her parents put, when they discovered that she was a lesbian, put her in a psychiatric hospital and that the standard procedure in that hospital was electroshock, but that her psychiatrist was familiar with my work and he was able to keep them from giving it to her, with tears streaming down her face.

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