Betty Berzon Photo

Betty Berzon

Born: Jan 18, 1928

Death: Jan 24, 2006

Birthplace: St. Louis

Profession: Writer

Nationality: United States

Betty Berzon

Date of Birth : Jan 18, 1928
Date of Death : Jan 24, 2006
Birth Place : St. Louis

Betty Berzon was an American author and psychotherapist known for her work with the gay and lesbian communities. Berzon was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to a Jewish family. She was among the first psychotherapists to assist gay clients. After coming out as gay in 1968, she began providing therapy to gays and lesbians. In 1971, during a UCLA conference called "The Homosexual in America," Berzon became the first psychotherapist in the country to come out as gay to the public. Also in 1971, she organized the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center as well as an organization of gays and lesbians within the American Psychiatric Association; the APA declassified homosexuality as a mental illness two years later. Berzon temporarily attended Stanford University before enrolling in UCLA in 1952 and graduating in 1957. She then obtained her master's degree from San Diego State University in 1962. Berzon's books included Positively Gay, Permanent Partners, and The Intimacy Dance. Berzon also wrote a personal memoir, Surviving Madness, a Therapist's Own Story in which she discussed her previous suicide attempt and institutionalization.


  • Writer

Awards Won

  • Lambda Literary Award for Autobiography
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