The line "They'll call me crazy" refers to when Dr. H Anonymous spoke at the American Psychiatric Association's (APA's) 125th Annual Conference, as Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny listen, Dallas, Texas in May 2, 1972.
By the mid-1960s, gay and lesbian leaders like Kameny and Gittings understood the classification of homosexuality as a mental disease--which provided the basis for the countless examples of official discrimination faced by the country's homosexual population on a daily basis--as the major hurdle in the fight for civil equality.
In 1972, after years of advocacy, Kameny and Gittings received permission to present a panel on declassifying homosexuality to the APA conference; while they were able to find gay-friendly doctors to speak, they understood the necessity of finding a gay doctor, someone uniquely positioned to discuss the damage being done by the classification.
No gay doctor, however, would risk his or her career by speaking; instead, Kameny introduced Dr. Henry Anonymous, an individual in a joke-shop mask, an enormous tuxedo, and who spoke through a voice-altering microphone.
Despite the ridiculousness of his appearance, Dr. Anonymous' speech could not be ignored: "...all of us have something to lose. We may not be considered for that professorship. The analyst down the street may stop referring us his overflow. Our supervisor may ask us to take a leave of absence. We are taking an even bigger risk, however, not accepting fully our own humanity, with all of the lessons it has to teach all the other humans around us and ourselves. This is the greatest loss: our honest humanity. And that loss leads all those others around us to lose that little bit of their humanity as well. For, if they were truly comfortable with their own homosexuality, then they could be comfortable with ours. We must use our skills and wisdom to help them--and us--grow to be comfortable with that little piece of humanity called homosexuality."
By the end of the year, the APA removed homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. John E. Fryer would not publicly reveal himself as Dr. H. Anonymous until the 1994 APA Conference; Dr. Fryer died in 2003.
- Text lifted from www.instagram.com/lgbt_history/