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Gay Psychologist Hero Charles Silverstein


Tributes have been pouring in for Doctor Charles Silverstein, who has passed on to the realm of our LGBTQIA+ ancestors after an eventful and long life of eighty seven years. Born in Brooklyn in 1935, Doctor Silverstein was a psychologist and therapist who pioneered work with LGBTQIA+ people. His evidence to his colleagues in the American Psychiatric Association helped bring about the formal de-classification of homosexuality as a prima facie mental health disorder in 1973. Thanks in part to his efforts, a major obstacle to gay civil rights fell, and a major tool in the arsenal of hate groups was removed. Doctor Silverstein helped found the “Journal of Homosexuality”, which is a peer reviewed academic journal covering research into sexual practices and gender roles in their cultural, historical, interpersonal, and modern social contexts. In 1977, Doctor Silverstein wrote, with gay novelist Edmund White, the legendary book “The Joy of Gay Sex”, which was celebrated by a whole generation of gay and bi men around the globe as it was translated into several languages in progressive countries. The book has been through several editions over the years. Silverstein reflected several times that as well as sex, the book contained much about the solidarity and community of gay men, and the life passages of the gay male to help honour the stages of life with dignity and pride. His name may not be as familiar as some in the LGBTQIA community, but he will be remembered with fondness and with an appreciation of his work for better mental health for all of society. 


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