Matthew Moore was shocked when he saw the results of his routine physical examination: his doctor had diagnosed him…as gay.
“When I saw that on my diagnosis, I felt like, not just me, but we all took a few steps back,” the openly gay Southern California resident told WRC-TV.
Moore’s doctor had listed “homosexual behavior” as a chronic condition. Moore confronted his doctor and asked how his chronic condition might be treated.
She said that it “is still up for debate,” Moore recalled.
Homosexuality was listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as a mental condition worthy of concern and treatment in 1952. That decision was undone in 1973, when the scientific community bowed to social pressure and common sense, and deemed that being gay was not a disorder. Moore saw his diagnosis as one more insult in a long quest toward gay equality:
"Government tells us, often times, that we're not equal, many churches tell us that we're sinners, and now here's a medical professional telling us that we're sick," he said.
"I don't want one other person that's not straight to be told they're sick or that there's something wrong with them."
Moore did not receive a satisfying response from his doctor, but the medical association to which she belongs issued a letter apologizing and asserting Moore’s dignity as a gay man:
"We fully appreciate your frustration and anger related to your experience and are committed to ensuring that such events are not repeated,” the Torrance Medical Association said in a statement.
"We would like to unequivocally state that the Torrance Memorial Physician Network does not view homosexuality as a disease or a chronic condition and we do not endorse or approve of the use of the Code 302.0 as a diagnosis for homosexuality."