In 1972, a disguised speaker – Dr. Anonymous – addressed the American Psychiatric Association (APA) regarding its classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder. Until this time, homosexual men and women were considered ill, with the APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual recommending "cures" including electro-shock therapy and lobotomy.
The following year, the APA removed the classification, the culmination of Dr. Anonymous' work as well as the efforts of activists Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings.
But who was Dr. Anonymous, the man behind the oversize suit, Richard Nixon mask, and voice modulator?
Discover one of the pioneers of the LGBT rights movement, Dr. John Fryer of Philadelphia – i.e. “Dr. Anonymous” – in this program combining performance and discussion. Playwright Ain Gordon previews the first piece of his upcoming play, with seminal documents from the John Fryer collection on view.
Free for HSP members; $10 for non-members. Please register here .
For a sneak peak of the Dr. Anonymous/Dr. John Fryer story, check out HSP's newest document display , which takes a look at the historic 1972 address.
About An Artist Embedded
When we look back, we cannot know ALL that happened. The historical record is rarely, if ever, complete. When we present history, we fill in the gaps, create the voices that spoke, the characters that lived. Are we creating fiction? Have we made history un-true? Or have we created a more layered truth greater than mere fact? Obie award-winning playwright Ain Gordon and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania explore the intersections of history and fiction, fact and truth, as part of a new two-year project, An Artist Embedded .