Richard Socarides: Coming Out To My Father

The New Yorker
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April 10, 2013
Issues: 

Ever since I first knew I was gay, which for me was early on—as a teenager—I have been conflicted about talking about my father and our relationship. By the time I was in high school and felt the first attraction to other boys, he was a renowned New York psychiatrist—Dr. Charles W. Socarides, M.D.—famous mostly for being an early proponent of the theory that homosexuality is a mental illness that can be cured through psychotherapy. I was never interested in changing my sexual orientation. For some reason, despite my background, I always considered it a gift and just a part of who I was. There were challenges. Often, especially before I was out of the closet, I felt I had to hide my sexual orientation in order to avoid the notoriety that would have accompanied such a disclosure by the son of one of the founders of so-called gay-conversion therapy.