So siderea is writing a thesis on the history of gay people's experiences of psychiatry. She has posted a summary of her research on the removal of homosexuality from being classified as a mental illness. Go and read it.
This reminds me of the people who talked about papersky's Small change books and said, gosh, how awful it would have been if we lived in an alternative history where fascists ruled Britain and made homosexuality illegal... It's easy to forget this sort of history, partly because as the old joke goes, most gay people have straight parents, so there isn't a cultural continuity. And partly because it's human nature to be squeamish about remembering just how badly groups of people have been treated in the recent past.
On the positive side, the story is an example of a successful fight against injustice, and we can definitely take joy in how much better things are for gay people today than 40 years ago. Still a long way to go, though, and forgetting the past isn't helping.