Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital and Clinics

Beyond the Binary: Self-Guided Tour of San Francisco

Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital and Clinics

San Francisco, California 94102, United States

Created By: Quest University


401 Parnassus Avenue

Formerly the Langley Porter Clinic

"San Francisco became an important center for the study of gender and sexuality in the 1940s and 1950s through the work of the Langley Porter Clinic at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Opened in March 1943, the clinic’s founding director, Dr. Karl Bowman, had taught and practiced psychiatry in New York City. During World War II, Bowman conducted research on gay men held in the psychiatric ward of the US Naval Hospital on Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay after their sexuality had been discovered while in uniform.

One of Bowman’s key collaborators was Louise Lawrence, who had been living full-time as a transgender woman since 1942. Lawrence lectured on transgender topics at UCSF and created an expansive international network of transgender people, some of whom stayed with her at her home in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, a residence Susan Stryker describes as a “waystation for transgender people from across the country who sought access to medical procedures in California.” Lawrence’s carefully compiled data supported medical research and treatment by the most prominent doctors dealing with transgender issues, including Alfred Kinsey, Karl Bowman, and Harry Benjamin." (excerpted from p. 26-27, Chapter 25: "San Francisco: Placing LGBTQ Histories in the City by the Bay" by Donna J. Graves and Shayne E. Watson LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History)

This point of interest is part of the tour: Beyond the Binary: Self-Guided Tour of San Francisco


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