Today, homosexuality is more widely publically accepted than ever before. But during the early 1900’s, this way of life was not seen as conventional. On a different side of the spectrum, Sigmund Freud had his own opinion and theory of human sexuality. Believing that human beings were innately bisexual, his ideas were also not accepted at first and still today are seen with skepticism. Freud’s thought is that after experiences with partners is when one either becomes heterosexual or homosexual as a result of these experiences.
In an excerpt from a letter that Freud had written to a troubled mother, he brought up many strong points. The mother is dealing with the issue of her son being a homosexual and she is bewildered at what to do with it or how to handle it. Interestingly enough he replies with encouragement and understanding. He writes; “Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function produced by a certain arrest of sexual development. Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest men among them (Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.). It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime, and cruelty too…. (reprinted in Jones, 1957, pp. 208-209, from the American Journal of Psychiatry, 1951, 107, 786).