December 14, 2014

Can Therapy "Fix" Homosexuality? - See What It Did To Highsmith

I have been off and on a bio of Highsmith: Beautiful Shadow - A Life Of Patricia Highsmith, by Andrew Wilson, in which there is an anecdote of Highsmith that I could not get over it:

During her late 20s, Highsmith was troubled by her sexuality and she sincerely wanted to fix it, because she wanted to marry a man who deeply loved her. So she underwent a therapy, believed it would eventually convert her to heterosexual. Since the therapy was extremely expensive, she had to take another job in a toy store to catch up with bills. It was in that store she met a female customer, who inspired her to write her second novel Price Of Salt (also published as Carol in later editions) - one of (or the only one) greatest romance books about lesbians relationship, or any love relationship!


  1. As we know, homosexuality cannot be “fixed” because there is nothing to fix, there is nothing broken; it is not an illness or condition so no therapy needed. I am guessing she tried therapy due to the pressures of conforming to society and trying to please others, such as that man who loved her. But that could never work. Very interesting that Patricia Highsmith’s female customer became her inspiration!

    1. Exactly, Madilyn! You are right that "she tried therapy due to the pressures of conforming to society", she was in her late 20s, no doubt that she had doubt!