Health Queer News

The Suicide of a Gay Therapist Highlights the Unseen Mental Health Challenges for Aging Gay Men


Bob Bergeron, left, with his friend Walter Rappaport at Mr. Rappaport's home in Miami in 2008.

This is some powerful food for thought. Human  have many layers, many that never reach the surface. As in the case of gay therapist Bob Bergeron, as some darker layers of himself surfaced that were hidden beyond his mask of joy, suicide was the result.

BOB BERGERON was so relentlessly cheery that people sometimes found it off-putting. If you ran into him at the David Barton Gym on West 23rd Street, where he worked out nearly ever morning at 7, and you complained about the rain, he would smile and say you’d be better off focusing on a problem you could fix.

That’s how Mr. Bergeron was as a therapist as well, always upbeat, somewhat less focused on getting to the root of his clients’ feelings than altering behavior patterns that were detrimental to them: therapy from the outside-in.

Over the last decade, he built a thriving private practice, treating well-to-do gay men for everything from anxiety to coping with H.I.V. Mr. Bergeron had also begun work as a motivational speaker, giving talks at gay and lesbian centers in Los Angeles and Chicago. In February, Magnus Books, a publisher specializing in gay literature, was scheduled to print a self-help guide he had written, “The Right Side of Forty: The Complete Guide to Happiness for Gay Men at Midlife and Beyond.” READ MORE

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