Much is known about the institutional brutality experienced by homosexual men within both the medical and the penal system. Homosexuality was classified as a mental illness until 1973, and homosexual men in England were criminalised and risked imprisonment or aversion therapy in a psychiatric hospital. But what happened to same-sex attracted women in the mental health system?
Although female homosexuality was not criminalised in England, it was still officially classified as a mental disorder (“sexual deviation”). As part of a cohort of studies on the theme of Sexualities and Health funded by the Wellcome Trust, Dr Sarah Carr and Dr Helen Spandler have conducted an archival study of women’s and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LBG&T) archives in England to investigate what happened to same-sex attracted women in the mental health system from 1950s until 1970s. The title of the project itself is ‘Hidden from History?’
Tickets are free, but spaces are limited – book in advance to avoid missing out!
We are excited to say that on the day we’ll be running a FREE shuttle bus from Lewes train station to Charleston. Details TBC.
This event is part of OUTing the Past, an international festival of LGBT+ history. Find out more here.