"Ex-Gays" | News | Richard Socarides

Richard Socarides Talks About His Father Dr. Charles Socarides, Who Pioneered Harmful Gay 'Conversion Therapy': VIDEO


Richard Socarides, the gay CNN commentator and New Yorker columnist who was a former aide in the Clinton administration, talks with I'm From Driftwood about coming out to his father:

My father was, his name was Charles Socarides MD. He was the founder, or one of the founders, of the school of psychiatry that believed homosexuality was a mental illness and that it could be cured through psychotherapy. And he was a New York psychiatrist, quite well-known, had a thriving practice, wrote in 1967, maybe ‘68, one of the early psychoanalytic treatises of the issue of homosexuality, called “The Overt Homosexual,” which I do believe as I recall was dedicated to me and my sister....

...When people ask me about my dad is, right, what is the first thing they say, “Did he ever try to cure you?” And it’s an obvious question and the answer is no. It literally never came up. He never once said to me, “I have an idea, I have this theory, and we can get you some help for this!”


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  1. Homophobic daddy got what he deserved - a gay son.

    Posted by: Jack M | Apr 8, 2013 10:00:20 AM

  2. his dad was a monster- and Im sure RUINED Many lives of gay/lesbians back then....

    Posted by: disgusted america | Apr 8, 2013 10:13:19 AM

  3. Interesting that even the father understood that he could not change his son's sexual orientation but that he had built his medical reputation on the claim that it was a mental illness. For many straight homophobic men it all centers around their ego. Had the father publicly admitted that he could not change a person's sexual orientation, that he had been wrong, that being gay was something a minority of the population is born with, he would have been admired today. History reveals you and sadly, for Dr. Charles Socarides he is remembered as a poor and destructive psychiatrist. That's not what you want to build a lifetime of work to achieve and leave to the world.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Apr 8, 2013 10:16:06 AM

  4. I'm reminded here of Billy Crystal in 'Analyse That' who loathes his father and when anyone sympathises at the funeral says, 'It's a process'.

    Posted by: robert | Apr 8, 2013 10:17:27 AM

  5. This is, sadly, a typical story. There are many anti-gay preachers whose gay children claim they are cool with their homosexuality but who remain publicly anti-gay. The cognitive dissonance required to be a religious fundamentalist is well-documented. I don't know why someone who supposedly uses science to form conclusions would fall into the same trap.

    Posted by: Houndentenor | Apr 8, 2013 10:18:30 AM

  6. I've always wondered how Richard's coming out was like. I didn't imagine this. I'm not sure that I could have maintained a relationship with a man like this. Did Richard ever challenge his father publicly?
    If he continued trying to "cure" gay men but was never once tried to "cure" his son then he was a hypocrite. Not the first, not the last, but a hypocrite nonetheless.

    Posted by: Gigi | Apr 8, 2013 10:20:05 AM

  7. Clearly hypocrisy runs in that family.


    Posted by: 24play | Apr 8, 2013 10:31:34 AM

  8. Maybe this explains why Socarides didn't have a problem working for Clinton and helping him with DOMA and DADT.

    But until he explains / apologizes for the money he made and the role he played I don't think he's much different than Kenny Smehlman...

    Posted by: uppityfag | Apr 8, 2013 10:57:26 AM

  9. Count me as someone who actually went to his father for treatment! Fortunately, I thought he was "weird," and stopped going after a few sessions...

    Posted by: Richard | Apr 8, 2013 10:58:50 AM

  10. @24play & uppityfag - Good point about Socarides and his support of DOMA. He's like the Liberal version of Ken Mehlman.

    Posted by: Gigi | Apr 8, 2013 11:13:28 AM

  11. Has anyone ever seen Mehlman and Socarides in the same room?

    Posted by: 24play | Apr 8, 2013 11:34:36 AM

  12. RS was a Clinton enabler and handler that he no conscious for anything that he was doing. In this he is no better than his father.

    Posted by: anon | Apr 8, 2013 2:05:11 PM

  13. So it was just to make a lot of money?

    Posted by: rick scatorum | Apr 8, 2013 3:19:15 PM

  14. So it was just to make a lot of money?

    Posted by: rick scatorum | Apr 8, 2013 3:19:19 PM

  15. So it was just to make a lot of money?

    Posted by: rick scatorum | Apr 8, 2013 3:19:23 PM

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