The Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s digital exhibit Anonymous No More, about the life and times of gay psychiatrist John Fryer, is now live! I contributed the essay “HIV/AIDS, Gay Communities, and the Struggle for Gay Rights” and the exhibit also features excellent work by Christina Larocco, Timothy Stewart-Winter, Rebecca Alpert, and Jack Drescher.
At the 1972 meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Fryer delivered a speech in disguise as “Dr. Anonymous,” in which he disclosed his own sexuality as a gay man and urged his colleagues to treat their gay and lesbian patients with sympathy and understanding. At the time, the APA classified homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder—that would change the following year, thanks in part to Fryer’s activism. Anonymous No More is part of a broader series of public engagements exploring his life and legacy.