Bob Bergeron, whose self help book for
mature gay men was about to be published, stunned his family and
friends when he took his own life in early January.
Bergeron's life – and the possible
reasons behind his sudden suicide – are parsed out in a profile
published Friday in The
New York Times. It starts with informing readers that
Bergeron was so cheery that people sometimes found it off-putting,
then posits that he was obsessed with his fading beauty.
The 49-year-old therapist had set out
to help other gay men grow older gracefully.
“I've got a concise picture of what
being over 40 is and it's a great perspective filled with happiness,
feeling sexy, possessing comfort relating to other men and taking
good care of ourselves,” he said on his website. “This picture
will get you results that flourish long-time.”
Bergeron's book, The Right Side of
Forty: The Complete Guide to Happiness for Gay Men at Midlife and
Beyond, was about to be published when the author decided to end
The book, according to a fellow
therapist, “emphasized what to do when you're not attractive or you
no longer have the appeal you once had. The idea was to transcend
that and expand your sexual possibilities.”
A note left behind said, “It's a lie
based on bad information,” with an arrow pointing to the name of
Bergeron's now-canceled book.