Today, being gay in a progressive society generally means being a second-class citizen in one way or another. Seen, accepted but usually not afforded the same legal protections as someone in a heterosexual relationship. In less open and tolerant countries it remains a criminal office, often punishable by death. However, there was a time, even in America, where being homosexual was officially classed as an illness.
In the US today you’ll still find many proponents of conversion therapy, mostly from conservative religious communities, despite it being universally debunked and discredited by medical professionals. Back in the 1970s, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the handbook produced by the APA (American Psychiatric Association), homosexuality was a disease that needed to be treated. Cured follows the campaign to get it removed
Using archive footage and contemporary interviews, Cured tells the story of the heroic efforts made by early equality pioneers to change the way homosexuality was viewed in American society. It’s shocking to think that as recently as fifty years ago it was seen as a mental illness and human deprivation. Patrick Sammon and Bennett Singer’s documentary shines a light on the fight that took place inside and outside of the APA, charting a key milestone in the fight for justice and equal rights.
Cured screens at BFI Flare.