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CURED takes viewers inside the campaign that led to a pivotal yet largely unknown moment in the struggle for LGBTQ equality: the American Psychiatric Association’s 1973 decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. Combining eyewitness testimony with newly unearthed archival footage, the film reveals how a small group of impassioned activists achieved this unexpected victory.

Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO) | Johnnie N. Gray, Technology Services Librarian, Christopher Newport University
"Essential viewing for understanding the history of how the field of psychiatry has evolved to accept sexuality on a spectrum. Suitable for high school and up. A highly accessible and well produced documentary."

Video Librarian
"[A] lively presentation from beginning to end. Codirectors Singer and Sammon have done cinematic justice to a long-unheralded but all-important grassroots political victory in LGBT history. Highly recommended."

Dagmar Herzog, Distinguished Professor of History and Daniel Rose Faculty Scholar at The Graduate Center, City University of New York
"CURED is, to put it simply, a stupendous achievement. It will join Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Paragraph 175 (2000) and Jim Hubbard’s United in Anger: A History of ACT UP (2012) as one of the must-see definitive accounts of signal moments in LGBT history. Accessible to a broad variety of popular audiences, requiring no prior knowledge for viewers to be gripped and moved by the wonderful constellation of characters and the drive of the narrative, it is simultaneously filled with sharp insights and novel archival materials to amaze even the most knowledgeable of scholars or insiders. It is perfect also for classroom use: in psychology; in US social and political history, gender history, and history of medicine; in ethics classes for medical schools."
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Chris Babits, Ph.D., Andrew W. Mellon Engaged Scholar Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin and author of To Cure a Sinful Nation: A History of Conversion Therapy in the United States (forthcoming from University of Chicago Press)
“As a historian who has devoted the past six years to research on the topic of conversion therapy, I am in a unique position to attest to the scholarly and educational significance of what Patrick Sammon and Bennett Singer have accomplished. The film is a fascinating analysis of one of the most important civil rights struggles of the post-World War II era. Patrick and Bennett offer a penetrating account of the homophobia that led the American Psychiatric Association to pathologize same-sex desires in the early 1950s. Additionally, they spotlight the years of activism that lesbian and gay rights activists like Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny led as they fought psychiatrists and psychologists who thought that homosexuals needed to be ‘cured.’”

Lillian Faderman, Professor Emerita at Fresno State University and author of The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle
“CURED is a wonderful film. It’s moving and compelling and it tells the story beautifully. It includes some truly remarkable footage and interviews. I especially love those shots of the beautiful, innocent-looking young gay people juxtaposed to the terrible things said about them. In short, I find this a remarkable film.”

Nishani Frazier, Associate Professor of American Studies and History at University of Kansas and co-editor of Freedom on My Mind: The Columbia Documentary History of the African American Experience
"Inspirational. A powerful narrative of resistance.”

British Film Institute
"Astonishingly rich ... one of the best documentaries of this or any year."

Mathew Shurka, Co-Founder & Chief Strategist, Born Perfect
"As a survivor of conversion therapy, I was riveted by this untold story of our LGBTQ history, which is one that everyone should know. This incredible film highlights the hidden heroes and activists who had the courage to lead at a time when it was not clear whether anyone would follow, and who fought so hard to eradicate the lie that LGBTQ people are mentally unstable and must be ‘cured.’ This is not just a brilliantly told story; it is a call to honor our legacy of activism and empowerment by continuing the fight to end conversion therapy once and for all.”

Charles Francis, President, Mattachine Society of Washington, DC
“Too often, LGBTQ film projects erase seniors who lack celebrity, much less octogenarians wearing old-school jackets, pocket hankies, chains and adornments —from reformer/psychiatrist Dr. Lawrence Hartmann to the African-American activist Rev. Magora Kennedy. ‘Discovering’ and interviewing these invisible heroes — people who helped free millions from the diagnosis of ‘mental illness’ — will be an enduring legacy of this film.”

Eric Marcus, founder and host of Making Gay History podcast
“CURED sweeps us back in time to reveal how homosexuals cured psychiatry of its anti-gay dogma. It’s an epic human drama made all the more powerful by capturing the voices of the people who were there a half-century ago and changed the course of history.”

Jessica Green, Artistic Director, Houston Cinema Arts Society
“CURED is a master class in consciousness-raising, coalition-building, grassroots activism, and self-determination. This is thrilling non-fiction filmmaking and must-see viewing for activists of every generation."

The Hollywood Reporter
“Fascinating doc about doctors who took too long to heal themselves… Scintillates… So many vibrant and articulate participants [recall] their part in a battle that did a great deal to change longstanding (and not yet extinct) prejudices.”

Bay Area Reporter
“Suspenseful and furnishing a slam-dunk case about the landmark importance of this event, CURED is probably the best LGBTQ documentary of the year.”

The Queer Review
“Riveting …deserves its place alongside other seminal documentaries such as How to Survive a Plague, The Celluloid Closet, Before Stonewall and The Times of Harvey Milk.”

USA Today
“[A] striking documentary. One of the five best LGBTQ+ films we watched [at Outfest].”

The Georgia Straight
“Both illuminating and engaging, it’s a timely opportunity to reflect upon a historical context for present-day struggles to ban conversion therapy and to address ongoing transphobia—a measure of how far social change can progress and yet how long-lasting impacts can also stubbornly and inexplicably resist them.”

The Moveable Fest
“Energizing [and] absorbing… Sammon and Singer have captured something mighty."

EDGE Media Market
“Patrick Sammon and Bennett Singer’s taut, informative 80-minute documentary CURED illuminates the hidden history of how LGBTQ activists fought to remove the classification that being gay was a disease.”

Rage Monthly
“Eye-opening… A strong, timely testament to the power of persistence and righteous anger to effect change.”

“Featuring interviews with queer activists next to survivors of electroshock conversion therapy, the film is uplifting despite its subject material, showing how resilience and persistence has always been at the heart of the ongoing LGBTQ+ Rights Movement."

BBC News Interview with Filmmaker
"Until 1973 the American Psychiatric Association defined being gay as having a mental illness. A new documentary recalls the struggle to change a definition which for years limited the rights of LGBT people in the US. But the film's makers say the fight for equality was part of a bigger battle which continues today."


Main credits

Sammon, Patrick (film director)
Singer, Bennett L. (film producer)

Other credits

Editor, Steve Heffner; director of photography, Sam Henriques; music by Ian Honeyman.

Docuseek subjects

Distributor subjects

LGBTQ+ History
U.S. History
Mental Health
Activism & Social Movements
Social Justice
Human Rights
Civil Rights
Sexuality Studies
Diversity & Inclusion
Science, Reasoning & the Scientific Method


LGBTQ+, LGBTQ+ History, U.S. History, Psychiatry, Mental Health, Activism & Social Movements, Social Justice, Human Rights, Civil Rights, Sexuality Studies, Diversity & Inclusion, Science, Reasoning & the Scientific Method ; "Cured"; GOOD DOCS