Among the many topics I diverged into in the course of writing this are the status of gay marriage (a threat to the legal and moral ontology, not to mention a challenge for database administrators) and the changing status of homosexuality as a disease. Not a subject I normally spend a lot of time on, but it seems like one of the reasons anti-gay sentiment is so strong in some parts of the culture is that it is seen as undermining not only sexual mores but the very metaphysical foundations of the universe (and hey, wouldn't "Undermine" be a great name for an anarchist gay bar?).
Anyway, in the course of pursuing the topic I came across this indignant quote, which I think will have to be trimmed from the paper, but it's too good not to share:
The American Psychiatric Association had fallen victim to the disorder of a tumultuous era, when disruptive conflicts threatened to politicize every aspect of American social life. A furious egalitarianism that challenged every instance of authority had compelled psychiatric experts to negotiate the pathological status of homosexuality with homosexuals themselves.Can you imagine? The objects of science dare to stand up and express an opinion, to act like subjects!
-- from R. Bayer, Homosexuality And American Psychiatry: The Politics Of Diagnosis. Princeton: Princeton University Press (1987).
I think one thing that has improved a lot in the last few decades is that this kind of attitude is less prevalent, and it is much more common for groups of outsiders to organize and stand up for themselves. Thanks go to both the "furious egalitarianism" of the sixties, and the net which makes it easier for groups to coalesce.