Partner Brian Miller
Pitzer College, 1050 N Mills Ave, Claremont, CA 91711, Stati Uniti
Washington University in St. Louis, 1 Brookings Dr, St. Louis, MO 63130, Stati Uniti
Robert Allan "Laud" Humphreys (October 16, 1930 – August 23, 1988) was an American sociologist and author. He is noted for his research into sexual encounters between men in public bathrooms, published as Tearoom Trade (1970) and for the questions that emerged from what many believe to be unethical research methods. He influenced generations of scholars who research issues related to sexuality and sexual identity.
Robert Allan Humphreys was born in Chickasha, Oklahoma, to Ira Denver Humphreys and Stella Bernice Humphreys. "Laud" was chosen as his first name when he was baptized again upon entering the Episcopal Church. He graduated from the Seabury-Western Episcopal Theological Seminary in 1955, and served as an Episcopal priest. He was professor of sociology at Pitzer College in Claremont, California from 1972–1988 and died of lung cancer in 1988.
Humphreys married Nancy Wallace, a woman from a prominent Tulsa family in 1960. The couple had two children, Claire and David.:dedication In 1974, Humphreys came out as a gay man during a discussion at a conference session at the American Sociological Association. Humphreys was a co-founder of the Sociologists' Gay Caucus, (now the Committee on on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People in Sociology), established in 1974 as a response to a presentation by Edward Sagarin that criticized homosexual sociologists as hiding in the closet.
Humphreys separated from his wife in 1980 and began living with Brian Miller, a graduate student at the University of Alberta. That same year, he was certified to practice as a psychotherapist in California. For most of the rest of his life, he was in private practice, although he and Miller co-authored articles about gay subcultures and victims of violent homophobia.
His biography, written by John F. Galliher, Wayne H. Brekhus, and David P. Keys, was published in 2004, under the title Laud Humphreys: Prophet of Homosexuality and Sociology. The authors establish the case that Humphreys was an extremely complex person and that he was professionally marginalized in the discipline of sociology. The book also heralds his contributions to the discipline of sociology, as well as his advocacy for African American civil rights, gay rights, and against war.
The University of Southern California houses the Laud Humphreys Papers Collection, as part of the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives.
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