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Dr. Richard Isay is a professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic and a faculty member of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.
Isay graduated from the Western New England Psychoanalytic Center soon after completing his psychiatry residency at Yale. In an autobiographical chapter of his book, "Becoming Gay," he tells the story of how he spent ten years trying to change his homosexual orientation. During his analysis, he married. When he finished his analysis, he found himself once again having homosexual desires. For many years, as a closeted gay man, he began to write and present about homosexuality in psychoanalytic journals and meetings. He eventually came out of the closet and left his wife.
According to his memoir, Isay challenged the American Psychoanalytic Association with a lawsuit against their discriminatory anti-gay policies. As a result, in 1991 the they adopted a non-discrimination policy for the training of candidates and then in 1992 in the promotion of teachers and supervisors.
Isay graduated from Haverford College and the medical school at the University of Rochester.
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