Fred Gersh died earlier this morning, from the Prostate Cancer that he had been
fighting for many years. Fred was a friend and ally to Malecare. He spent much
of the last decade of his life as a prostate cancer advocate. I met Fred during
one of the many conferences we both attended. One day, several years ago, he
took my arm and asked me, “what is it about gay men…why does Malecare exit?”
That was the start of many conversations about LGBT life, history, sex and love
and prostate cancer. Fred was a genuine learner, and, during the last year or
so, I witnessed him as a teacher, sharing his understanding of the unique issues
that challenge gay men, to other advocates and survivors. More than once, he
would introduce me to one or another oncologist, telling them that they ought to
know more about gay men. Though clearly ensconced in the straight community,
Fred was an advocate for all men with prostate cancer.