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Queerly Ill: The Rise and Fall of the Illness of Homosexuality (2001)

This article traces the development of the illness of homosexuality from its legal origins through its political demise within a framework of social control exerted by the medical profession. The rise of an authoritative medical profession and the stigmatizing effects of its positivist ideology are examined in the context of Goffman’s theory of stigmatization, and the development of positive homosexual identity from within a negative illness model is explained using David Matza’s naturalist theory of deviance. Recent developments suggesting remedicalization of homosexuality by the gay community are explored.