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Charles Silverstein Death: LGBTQ Rights Advocate Dies At 87



Charles Silverstein Death LGBTQ Rights Advocate Dies At 87

American writer, therapist, and LGBTQ rights advocate Dr. Charles Silverstein passed away at the age of 87. He was the one who helped his LGBTQ+ patients in accepting their identity during a time when it was highly regarded as a disgrace. 

As a psychologist, he worked to declassify homosexuality as an illness. Also, he was in the leading position in influencing the American Psychiatric Association in reconsidering the classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder. Being a gay man himself, Silverstein dedicated his life and career to helping out members of the LGBTQ+ community live a life without shame and disgust in society.   

More About American Writer Charles Silverstein

The 87 year old writer has even authored a myriad of books including his memoir, For The Ferryman. Another popular book by the activist is ‘The Joy of Gay Sex,’ which is basically a sex manual for gay men.

More About American Writer Charles Silverstein

The book was co-authored by Edmund White and was published in 1977. It is not just a guide to gay sex rather it acts as a cultural guide that has non-sexual chapters that’ll illustrate the truths of coming out, gay politics, bigotry, and much more. 

In 1973, while delivering a speech at the American Psychiatric Association (APA), he and other activists argued that homosexuality shouldn’t be considered a mental illness.

And ten months after the conflict, the association voted to terminate it from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

The therapist was born to Jewish parents on April 23, 1935, in Brooklyn, New York. Other than his writing career, he was a regular lecturer at conventions at the state and national levels. And as of the reports given out by his executor Aron Berlinger over the therapist’s demise, it is said that he was diagnosed with lung cancer which got worsened resulting in the death of Silverstein at the age of 87. 

In 2019, Silverstein stated in the Rutgers Oral History Archives that even he was not that brave before coming out as gay. He revealed that when he came out as gay, he came out by all means that he not only just sexually stated him as gay instead he represented his identity politically.

Charles Silverstein Death

And by the end of the session, he said he accused the system of making mistakes repeatedly, and said that he even pointed out the need to make corrections in order to bring out a change in the perspectives people have about the community. 

As of the reports, it is believed that Silverstein played a major role in bringing changes in the field’s view of conversion therapy. Gerry Davison, Silverstein’s friend and a practitioner of conversion therapy stated that he received a chance to attend a talk by Silverstein in 1972 against the practices.

And after listening to the session Davison said that it influenced him very deeply and from there on he said that even he started to voice against the bigotry. In 1974, Davison was the president of the Association for Advancement of Behavioral Therapies. 

Read: Burt Bacharach Death: The Great Musician Died At 94 

According to the statements, it is identified that Silverstein was also a gay man who wanted to get a permanent cure for all the problems he’d been facing for a long time. And because of this, it is said that he dedicated his life to helping out LGBTQ+ members without any shame.

He even published guides that are intended to help parents to learn how they can support their children who wish to come out as gay. The guide even includes a clinical guide for psychotherapists treating LGBTQ patients.

Besides his career in writing or the therapeutic field, he is also the founder of Identity House, an LGBTQ peer counseling organization. He also raised an  Institute for Human Identity that delivers LGBTQ-affirming psychotherapy. It began with gay and lesbian therapists who volunteered for LGBT clients. 

As mentioned above, Silverstein was gay and an associate of Division 44 of the APA (Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues). He was diagnosed with lung cancer and was survived by his adopted son. 

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