13 Nov 2017

How Slovakia tried to cure homosexuality in the 80s

Not many people have opened up about it publicly. One of them is Roman Dulgero, who was hospitalized at a psychiatry department in the 80s, and underwent therapy for homosexuality.

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
How Slovakia tried to cure homosexuality in the 80s - NewsMavens
Gay couple. Image from Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

Homosexuality a disease and we must cure it -- this was a popular opinion during the Soviet era in Slovakia. Even gay people thought they were ill and they were seeking medical help.

Not many people have opened up about it publicly. One of them is Roman Dulgerov, who was hospitalized at a psychiatry department in the 80s, and underwent therapy for homosexuality. It was not far from the way alcoholics were treated -- Dulgarov and his fellow gay patients were supposed to build an aversion to their passions.

As a result of this treatment, Dulgerov attempted to commit suicide, but his brother saved him. Fortunately, after a few months, he met a doctor who knew that the only cure for homosexuality is to live happily ever after with his orientation.

On the website of our daily newspaper, we still have to block the comment section under articles about LGBT, Roma people or other minorities. We do not want to encourage the brainless and hateful reactions these texts usually trigger. However, having publishing this article, I scanned through our social media, and realized that people were mostly horrified about the past. They understood this was not the way to go. Of course, there are individuals stuck in the past, believing that gay people should be hospitalized but luckily, nowadays, they are just a slow-witted minority.

Times change and opinions change. Slowly, but they do. We need more stories like this one to remember that going back in time is a dreadful idea.

Details from the story:

  • Roman Dulgerov was hospitalized at a psychiatry department in the 80s, where the doctors tried to cure him of homosexuality.
  • When he returned home, he attempted to commit suicide because he could not handle depression.
  • Dulgerov is one of the few men (if not the only one) who publicly opened up about having been treated for homosexuality in Slovakia, during the Soviet era.
  • Now, he has a partner and works as a book distributor.
  • Slovak gay couples do not have the right to marry nor to live in a civil union.
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