Richard C. Friedman was a psychiatrist whose groundbreaking 1988 book, “Male Homosexuality: A Contemporary Psychoanalytic Perspective,” showed that homosexuality was largely biological, rather than a perversion that needed to be cured.
- Died: March 31, 2020 (Who else died on March 31?)
- Details of death: Died at home in Manhattan at the age of 79.
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Motivated by science
Friedman built his work on scientific study of LGBTQ people, using studies of identical twins to investigate sexual orientation as a biological phenomenon. His conclusion was supported by the American Psychiatric Association, which had stopped referring to homosexuality as a disorder more than a decade before Friedman’s study. But in everyday practice, many psychiatrists still held the Freudian view that homosexuality was a pathology. Friedman’s book changed the world for the LGBTQ community, leading to a sea change in the way psychiatrists worked with their LGBTQ patients.
What people said about him
Full obituary: The New York Times