Metro Weekly

Richard Isay, psychiatrist who fought gay “mental illness” label, dead at 77

The New York Times reports tonight that Richard Isay, 77, has died.

From the article:

Dr. Richard A. Isay, a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and gay-rights advocate who did not admit to himself that he was gay until he was 40, married and a father, and who won a pitched battle to persuade his own profession to stop treating homosexuality as a disease, died on Thursday in Manhattan. He was 77.

Of his work, the article quotes Dr. Jack Drescher, a training and supervising analyst at the William Alanson White Institute in New York and the author of Psychoanalytic Therapy and the Gay Man:

He changed the way the psychoanalytic world viewed the subject of homosexuality. He was a pioneer, a very brave man. He was attacked by psychoanalysts. He took a lot of flak.

Isay — who had been married to Jane Isay for many years — met Gordon Harrell in 1979, moved in together in 1989 after his marriage to Jane Isay ended, and married Harrell in Manhattan this past year.

Leave a Comment:

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!